San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office says SDSU student, Marco Fagoada, died of meningitis
Officials seek anyone who had contact with him
Last Updated: 160 days ago
SAN DIEGO - A 30-year-old Chula Vista man who was a graduate student at San Diego State University has died of meningitis, and county health officials are seeking anyone who might have had close contact with him.
The man died Monday shortly after he was hospitalized, according to the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency.
The county Medical Examiner's Office said Marco Fagoada developed symptoms Sunday and went to a clinic Monday complaining of shortness of breath and fever. He died at Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista early Monday evening, according to the ME.
Fagoada could have exposed others to Neisseria meningitidis bacteria -- which leads to meningitis and other meningococcal disease, including sepsis -- between Dec. 3 and Monday, officials said. But they stressed that close contact is necessary for transmission to occur.
"While meningococcal disease can be serious and deadly, it is not spread through casual contact," said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county's public health officer. "Therefore, the risk to those who were not in close, direct contact is minimal."
The HHSA said bacteria can be spread through close contact, such as sharing drinking glasses, eating utensils, or water bottles; kissing; and living in close quarters. The time between exposure to the disease and the onset of symptoms can be between two to 10 days.
County health officials said people who were in close contact with Fagoada should receive antibiotics to prevent any possible infection.
Preventative medication is not suggested for people who were not close to the man, who took three graduate-level classes at SDSU.
"The SDSU community is deeply saddened by this loss," said James Kitchen, the university's vice president of student affairs. "The health and safety of our students is our highest priority and we are working closely with health officials to identify those who may have been exposed."
The HHSA said symptoms of meningococcal disease may include fever, intense headache, lethargy, stiff neck and/or a rash that does not blanch under pressure. Anyone with potential exposure who develops any of these symptoms should immediately contact a healthcare provider or emergency room for an evaluation, the agency said.
Students with questions can contact SDSU Student Health Services at 619-594-5281 on weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., or call their personal healthcare provider.
Information about meningococcal disease is online at cdc.gov.
A vaccine is available to prevent certain strains of meningococcal disease and is routinely recommended for children and adolescents 11 to 18 years of age. To find out more information about this vaccine-preventable disease, please visit www.sdiz.org.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.