Actress Denise Dowse ‘in coma’ from meningitis

Actress Denise Dowse is fighting for her life after a “virulent form of meningitis” left her “in a coma”.

Her admittedly “private” sister, Tracey Dowse, shared the news with her “family and friends” on Instagram over the weekend, asking for “support and prayers” for the “Beverly Hills, 90210” actress.

Tracey explained that Denise, 64, is “currently in hospital in a coma caused by a virulent form of meningitis,” but did not say when her sister’s health problems started.

Meningitis is the inflammation of the protective membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the swelling is most commonly caused by a bacterial or viral infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord, although injuries, cancer, medications, and other types of infections can also cause meningitis.

Denise Dowse at the 26th Annual NAACP Theater Awards at Saban Theater on November 21, 2016
Her sister, Tracey Dowse, announced the news, but did not reveal when the actress’s health problems began.
Leon Bennett

Only in severe cases does a person with meningitis experience enough brain damage to cause a coma, Medical News Today reports, noting that the chances of this happening as a result of bacterial or viral meningitis are extremely low.

“Her doctors don’t know when she will come out of the coma,” Tracey explains on Instagram, noting that the coma was “not medically caused.”

She told TMZ on Tuesday that her sister’s condition had not improved.

Denise Dowse in an episode of "Grey's Anatomy"
Denise’s long list of acting credits includes “Grey’s Anatomy.”
ABC via Getty Images

In her message to her followers, Tracey said her posts are mostly “positive and uplifting,” and said she did her best to keep her mood the same.

Denise is “a vibrant actor and director who should have many more years ahead of her,” concluded her sister. “Thoughts, prayers and support are greatly appreciated.”

Among the many social media users who flooded the post with words of encouragement was Tracee Ellis Ross.

Denise Dowse at an event in Los Angeles in November 2016
“[Denise’s] doctors don’t know when she’ll come out of the coma,” Tracey said.
Getty Images

“May the universe send all it can collect and then more to heal,” the “black” star noted.

“Sending prayers and love and more love to this strength of a woman who has poured so much love into so many.”

Representatives of the star did not immediately respond to Vidak For Congress’s request for comment.

Denise Dowse in an episode of "House"
Denise also had a part in ‘House’.
NBCUniversal via Getty Images

In addition to playing Mrs. Yvonne Teasley for 10 years on “90210”, Denise’s long list of acting credits also includes “Insecure”, “Grey’s Anatomy”, “The X-Files”, “Criminal Minds”, “Bones”, “House” , ‘Monk’, ‘Law & Order’, ‘Gilmore Girls’, ‘Charmed’, ‘The Bernie Mac Show’, ‘Nip/Tuck’, ‘Moesha’, ‘Sister, Sister’, ‘ER’, ‘Step For step’, ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’, ‘Seinfeld’ and ‘Full House’.

She also voiced Nickelodeon cartoon characters in both “Rocket Power” and “Rugrats”.

According to IMDb, the biographical drama “Remember Me: The Mahalia Jackson Story” – which Denise directed – is in post-production.

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