Cal Poly student ill with meningitis

June 4, 2017

Cal Poly Campus Health officials announced a student who lives on campus has been diagnosed with meningitis. This is the second student to be diagnosed with meningitis this year, the first was in January.

The student who contracted meningococcal disease is receiving medical care and treatment. Health officials are investigating the case and reaching out to other students who 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 meningitis. 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.

Symptoms of the meningitis 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 meningitis should seek medical care immediately. Early treatment is critical, as the infection can quickly become life-threatening, according to the public health department.

Individuals who have questions or concerns about meningitis 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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I know that foreign students bring more cash to the coffers but are they bring illness too? Are foreign students well vetted so that they are not importing microbes that undermine our inoculation programs? Just a concern on how a local business may be affecting their neighbors.