City College student living in IV diagnosed with meningitis

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ALYSSA DURANT, Editor in Chief

Last week a City College student was hospitalized due to diagnosis of the treatable but serious infection serogroup B meningitis.

The student was taken from Isla Vista to the hospital after showing signs of meningitis. Roommates and close contacts of the victim, who also attend City College, have been contacted by the Public Health Department and treated with antibiotics.

The Channels contacted the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and City College Student Health Services and received no update on the student’s current condition.

There have been no additional cases of the disease since this recent diagnosis, but it’s the second central California student to be diagnosed with meningococcal infection in the past month. A student from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo was diagnosed with a strain of meningitis on Jan. 20.

The last time City College dealt with a meningitis infection was in September 2010. That student was diagnosed with spinal meningitis which led her to a comatose state.

Meningococcal disease is a bacterial infection of the blood or brain. Severe cases of the infection can result in limb amputation, brain damage, hearing loss, learning problems, and death. One out of ten people diagnosed with meningococcal will likely face fatality.

In a campus-wide email Dr. Ben Partee, dean of student affairs, stated that “prevention is key.” Symptoms of the infection are sudden outbreak in fever, headache, and stiff neck. It can often begin with symptoms much the same as the flu; vomiting, increased sensitivity to light, rash, and confusion.

If you should experience these symptoms, please seek immediate medical attention,” Partee said.

The bacteria that causes the infection is spread orally through both the exchange of saliva and close respiratory contact. To help prevent the disease, City College students are encouraged to avoid sharing food, water bottles, tissues, lip gloss and any other items used close to the mouth.

There are vaccines that help prevent meningococcal disease. The vaccination comes in the form of an injection and can be provided by healthcare professionals.

City College suggests that if students have not received the vaccine already they should do so immediately to keep the campus healthy.

Student Health Services does not provide vaccinations, but local pharmacys do. Rite Aid and CVS offer vaccinations at both the Cliff Drive and Goleta locations. The vaccinations are provided through health insurance.