College of Charleston President George Benson is being treated for Lyme disease, according to an email he sent to the campus community Monday morning.
Benson, 67, checked into Medical University Hospital last week for serious back pain. He stated that doctors worked to find the cause of his pain and diagnosed him with Lyme disease, which is transmitted through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“My case may be a little more complicated, which could draw out my recovery time,” he said. “In addition, for the next few days my current treatment has to be administered in a hospital setting.”
Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated with a few weeks of antibiotics, according to the CDC.
Benson assured the campus that he is in contact with college leaders and meeting daily with his chief of staff, Brian McGee.
Benson expects to remain hospitalized for at least another week, he said.
“I have been an active person for my entire life, and I am very anxious to return to my regular schedule. However, in order to fulfill my responsibilities to our campus community and my family, I understand that I need to follow the advice of my physicians,” he stated.
Last month Benson announced he would step down as president in June 2014. Benson, who has held the college’s top post since 2007, will be leaving several months before the end of his current contract, which runs through Feb. 28, 2015. He has said he plans to take a year’s sabbatical after he steps down, then return as a faculty member in the college’s School of Business.
Reach Natalie Caula at 937-5594 or Twitter.com/ncaula.