H-CAL POLY

Dec 13, 2013 1:30 AM by Connie Tran, KSBY News

Cal Poly students react to peer's diagnosis of meningitis

Cal Poly students react on Thursday night to news that one of their peers has meningitis- a highly contagious infection. The university said the infected student lives off campus and is receiving medical care. But, that hasn't easy every students' mind, especially during this final week.

"I'm kinda both a little satisfied and a little scared that it is right at the end of finals week, because we're all getting ready to go home and it would be horrible to find out that I have viral or even worst, bacterial meningitis coming home for Christmas," said Tim Gachot, a first-year architectural engineering student.

Cal Poly says it believes the infection is an isolated incident, and the school's medical staff doesn't believe there's a risk of an exposure to the rest of the campus. Cal Poly's health center has informed other students who have been in contact with the infected student, but they are not requiring those who came into contact to get on any kind of medication. The university said the infected student had symptoms of confusion and a change of mental state, not your typical symptoms of viral meningitis. More usual signs that people may show though can be fever, stiff neck, and a headache.

Cal Poly said people usually recover from viral meningitis within one or two weeks without any long-term problems.

Last week, a fourth UC Santa Barbara student was diagnosed with meningococcal disease- that is what causes meningitis. But, Cal Poly officials said it believes those cases are different from the one in San Luis Obispo. The four Santa Barbara cases were bacterial meningitis, the more serious of the two types of meningitis.

Doctors said it can be passed through intimate contact like kissing, sharing drinking glasses, silverware, toothbrushes, or cigarettes.

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