September 17 was a tragic day for the LSU community. The East Baton Rouge Coroner's Office responded to the death of 18 year old Marakah Dennis on campus.

This day was even harder for Dennis' roommate, LSU first-year, Kynnedy Louis, who found her unresponsive in their dorm room. She was shocked to say the least. 

We sat down with Louis as she talked about her life since the passing of her roommate.

"After her passing, it changed my perspective on life and how life is really short, and we never even gotten to take our first test yet. So like it's really crazy coming in as a freshman and then being here for a month and then she's already passed," said Louis.

Last week, the coroner's office released Dennis' cause of death which was viral meningitis.

Viral meningitis is more common than other strands of the illness, but many people don't know that college freshmen are seven times more likely to get meningitis than other college students.

This illness is even more frequent for students living in dormitories. While most cases of viral meningitis can go unnoticed, some can be fatal.

The Student Health Center's Medical Director, Dr. John Perret, talks about symptoms students should be aware of. 

"Anybody that has fever, severe headache and a stiff neck, needs to be seen urgently. Those are the classic signs of meningitis. You might have meningitis without having all three, but if you get those three, you need to be seen," said Dr. Perret.

If you are having any symptoms or have any questions about viral meningitis or other illnesses, visit the Student Health Center or its website lsu.edu/shc