Cal Poly employee ill with meningitis
January 31, 2015
Cal Poly officials notified students and staff Wednesday that an employee has been diagnosed with bacterial meningitis.
Campus health sent the following notification to the Cal Poly campus community:
University medical staff learned today that one of our employees has been diagnosed with bacterial meningitis.
The employee is receiving medical care, and Cal Poly is working closely with San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department to identify employees with whom this person has been in contact and advise them on receiving preventive medical treatment.
There are two main types of meningitis — viral and bacterial. Both viral and bacterial meningitis may have the same symptoms. They may include: fever, stiff neck, headache, confusion and often a rash. You may still have meningitis if only some of these symptoms are present.
It is important that doctors perform tests to determine the type of meningitis a person has, because bacterial meningitis is a medical emergency that can result in prolonged hospitalization. It can be transmitted through intimate contact with an infected person including, kissing, sharing glasses, cups, silverware, toothbrushes, cigarettes, etc.
Viral meningitis is serious, but not usually as serious as bacterial meningitis. People usually recover from viral meningitis within one to two weeks without any long-term problems.
In either type, symptoms can develop very quickly. Early recognition and rapid transport to the hospital is essential for diagnosis and successful treatment.
Individuals who have had close contact with a person diagnosed with bacterial meningitis need to be screened. Individuals exposed to bacterial meningitis may be given preventative antibiotics to avoid development of meningitis.
To avoid contracting meningitis, it is recommended that individuals avoid sharing dishes, glasses, cigarettes or other items. Wash hands frequently, and remember to cough in your sleeve, not into your hand.
If you or someone around you develops a fever, stiff neck, headache, confusion or rash, seek immediate medical care at the closest hospital emergency department for prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
For more information on meningitis, visit Cal Poly Health Services.