Health alert for Italian WYD pilgrims after young woman dies

A pilgrim puts on her shoe at sunrise July 31, hours before Pope Francis celebrates the World Youth Day closing Mass at the Field of Mercy in Krakow, Poland. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

After an Italian pilgrim to World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland, died of meningitis, the Italian bishops' conference advised all pilgrims who visited or attended events at its Casa Italia center in Krakow to see a doctor, especially if they have a high fever, severe headache and rash.

The young female pilgrim from Rome died on Aug. 1 in Vienna, where her group stopped on the way back from Italy, according to a note from the Italian bishops' conference, which did not release the young woman's name.

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As a precaution, the bishops' statement said, doctors in Vienna administered the antibiotic ciprofloxacin to all the members of the young woman's group and recommended the same for other pilgrims who stayed at Casa Italia or spent a significant amount of time there.

The Casa Italia center was set up at Krakow's Church of St. Bernard of Siena and the adjoining convent. Some Italian pilgrims stayed there during World Youth Day and hundreds more joined them each day for catechesis and Mass in Italian.

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