Health & Medicine

Cal Poly student diagnosed with bacterial infection that causes meningitis

jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

A student at Cal Poly has been diagnosed with meningococcal disease, a bacterial infection that causes bloodstream infections and meningitis.

The affected student is receiving medical care and treatment, according to a San Luis Obispo County Department of Public Health news release.

The Public Health Department is identifying those who had close contact with the ill student and recommending antibiotics to protect them from also becoming ill. That includes people who were exposed to the person’s respiratory and throat secretions through living in close quarters, kissing or other prolonged close contact.

Meningococcal disease is highly contagious and, if not treated, can quickly become life-threatening. College students are often at a higher risk for contracting the illness because of their close contact with other students.

Symptoms, which are sometimes mistaken for those of the flu, can include: High fever, severe headache, rash, body aches/joint pain, nausea/vomiting, increased sensitivity to light, confusion and dizziness.

For information about meningococcal disease, contact the Public Health Department, Cal Poly Student Health, or a primary health care provider.

Kaytlyn Leslie: 805-781-7928, @kaytyleslie

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