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Actress Denise Dowse Is In A Coma After A Battle With Meningitis. Here's What You Should Know About The Disease.

The sister of the 64-year-old actress, who has appeared in everything from "Insecure" to "Grey's Anatomy," is asking for prayers as the star has been unresponsive.
Actress Denise Dowse Is In A Coma After A Battle With Meningitis. Here’s What You Should Know About The Disease.
Scott Everett White/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

Actress Denise Dowse, a familiar face thanks to her work in TV and film projects including Insecure, Grey’s Anatomy, Fatale and Coach Carter, is in need of healing prayers. Dowse’s sister, Tracey, took to the actress and director’s Instagram page this week, asking for that for Denise and for herself because the 64-year-old is in a coma. According to the message, she’s been unresponsive since a recent battle with meningitis.

“I am requesting support and prayers be offered [sic] me and my sister, and my only immediate family @denisedowse,” Tracey wrote. “She is currently in the hospital in a coma brought on by a virulent form of meningitis. Her doctors do not know when she will come out of the coma as it was not medically induced.”

“She is a vibrant actor and director that should have many years ahead of her,” she added. “Thoughts, prayers and support are greatly appreciated.”

As a refresher, meningitis, according to the Mayo Clinic, is when there is an inflammation of the fluid and membranes that surround a person’s spinal cord and brain. Most cases, at least in the U.S., have been connected to a viral infection, as is the case for Denise. Other causes can be bacterial, fungal and parasitic infections.

Per Johns Hopkins Medicine, symptoms of meningitis include a stiff neck, headache, fever, nausea and vomiting, confusion, and sensitivity to bright light, among other pains and issues.

While some cases of the disease can cease without treatment in a manner of weeks, others can end up being deadly. Treatment options involved are based on the cause of meningitis. For viral infections though, aside from antibiotic treatment, supportive care tends to be the best treatment that can be offered to help deal with discomfort.

The last time Denise was publicly photographed, she was at the Pan African Film and Arts Festival in April. She’d lost a great deal of weight and was utilizing a walker.

Actress Denise Dowse Is In A Coma After A Battle With Meningitis. Here’s What You Should Know About The Disease.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 19: Denise Dowse attends the 2022 Pan African Film and Arts Festival – Opening Night Gala Premiere of “Remember Me, The Mahalia Jackson Story” at Directors Guild Of America on April 19, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Maury Phillips/Getty Images)

Denise, for Millennial TV watchers, may look most familiar because she played Molly’s therapist on Insecure from 2017 to 2020. For Generation X, it’s because of her years on Beverly Hills, 90210. As noted by her sister, she’s also been behind the camera, most recently directing the 2021 film Remember Me: The Mahalia Jackson Story, which stars singer Ledisi.