Friday, December 9 , 2016, 7:35 pm | Fair 61º


Local News

Cal Poly Student Diagnosed with Viral Meningitis

A Cal Poly San Luis Obispo student has been diagnosed with viral meningitis, according to university officials.

The student, who lives off-campus, was diagnosed after showing signs of confusion and is now receiving medical care, officials said.

Meningitis is a serious infection that causes inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

Viral meningitis generally is less severe than bacterial meningitis, which can be fatal.

“We have reason to believe that this is not going to spread beyond this one case,” Cal Poly spokesman Matt Lazier said.

Cal Poly Health Center staff members have informed other students who have been in contact with the infected student, and advised them on signs and symptoms that would require medical attention, Lazier said.

Sharing saliva through kissing, sharing food, drinks or food utensils, and other close personal contact are considered the primary means of spreading the disease.

Symptoms may include fever, stiff neck, headache, confusion and often a rash. A person with meningitis may not show all of these symptoms.

This is the first case of meningitis confirmed on campus in at least three years, Lazier said. He said he could not give additional details about the student, such as if the student was diagnosed on or off campus, because of laws protecting the student’s medical privacy.

The more serious bacterial form of meningitis has plagued several college campuses recently.

At UC Santa Barbara, there were four confirmed cases of meningitis in a three-week period in November. One student, a lacrosse player, had to have his feet amputated because of the infection.

A staff member at UC Riverside also was recently diagnosed with bacterial meningitis, and eight cases of bacterial meningitis have been confirmed at Princeton University since spring at its New Jersey campus.

The college has been offering vaccine clinics for students this week, with more than 3,300 students vaccinated.

Bacterial meningitis requires immediate medical attention because it can quickly become life-threatening, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Viral meningitis is usually less severe in people with a normal immune system, and most people typically recover on their own in about seven to 10 days, the CDC says.

In severe cases or in people with poor immune systems, hospitalization is sometimes required. As with all viruses, viral meningitis does not respond to antibiotics.

In both types of the disease, symptoms are said to show up rapidly.

It is recommended that anyone who has been in contact with someone diagnosed with either viral or bacterial meningitis be screened. Individuals exposed to bacterial meningitis may be given preventative antibiotics to avoid development of meningitis.

AnnMarie Cornejo is a reporter for the San Luis Obispo Tribune. Contact her at [email protected]

Reader Comments

Noozhawk's intent is not to limit the discussion of our stories but to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and must be free of profanity and abusive language and attacks.

By posting on Noozhawk, you:

» Agree to be respectful. Noozhawk encourages intelligent and impassioned discussion and debate, but now has a zero-tolerance policy for those who cannot express their opinions in a civil manner.

» Agree not to use Noozhawk’s forums for personal attacks. This includes any sort of personal attack — including, but not limited to, the people in our stories, the journalists who create these stories, fellow readers who comment on our stories, or anyone else in our community.

» Agree not to post on Noozhawk any comments that can be construed as libelous, defamatory, obscene, profane, vulgar, harmful, threatening, tortious, harassing, abusive, hateful, sexist, racially or ethnically objectionable, or that are invasive of another’s privacy.

» Agree not to post in a manner than emulates, purports or pretends to be someone else. Under no circumstances are readers posting to Noozhawk to knowingly use the name or identity of another person, whether that is another reader on this site, a public figure, celebrity, elected official or fictitious character. This also means readers will not knowingly give out any personal information of other members of these forums.

» Agree not to solicit others. You agree you will not use Noozhawk’s forums to solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites, without Noozhawk’s express written approval.

Noozhawk’s management and editors, in our sole discretion, retain the right to remove individual posts or to revoke the access privileges of anyone who we believe has violated any of these terms or any other term of this agreement; however, we are under no obligation to do so.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >