Cal Poly student gets infection that leads to meningitis

January 23, 2017

Cal Poly LargeSan Luis Obispo County Public Health officials announced a Cal Poly student has been diagnosed with a presumed case of meningococcal disease, a bacterial infection that causes bloodstream infections and meningitis.

Symptoms of the meningococcal disease can include high fever, severe headache, rash, body aches, joint pain, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, confusion and dizziness. Individuals who contract the disease sometimes mistake the symptoms for the flu.

Public health officials say anyone displaying signs or symptoms of meningococcal disease should seek medical care immediately. Early treatment is critical, as the infection can quickly become life-threatening, according to the public health department.

The student who contracted meningococcal disease is receiving medical care and treatment. Health officials are investigating the case and providing preventive antibiotics to people have come in close contact with the patient.

Those who were exposed to the patient’s respiratory and throat secretions through living in close quarters, kissing or other prolonged close contact are recommended to get antibiotics.

College students living in close quarters have an increased risk of contracting meningococcal disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends incoming college students receive at least one dose of the meningococcal conjugate vaccine before moving into residence halls.

The CDC recommends adolescents receive two doses of the vaccine at ages 11-12 and 16.

Individuals who have questions or concerns about meningococcal disease can contact the public health department, Cal Poly Student Health or their primary healthcare provider. In general, covering coughs, keeping hands clean and staying current with vaccines are ways to avoid illness, county health officials say.

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Where did he/she pick it up? Any news about that?