SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - An outbreak has been declared at San Diego State University after another student was diagnosed with meningococcal meningitis and hospitalized.
The San Diego County Public Health Services department announced that a male student displayed meningitis symptoms on Sept. 25, and testing confirmed that the student’s illness was due to serogroup B meningococcus.
In early September, a female student was diagnosed with the same illness and had to be hospitalized for treatment.
County health officials also reported a third case of meningococcal meningitis involving a student that was diagnosed in June. The female student in this case “was not attending classes and lived off campus.” The case was not previously announced because there was no public health risk at the time.
School officials said the three cases at the school within a a 3-and-a-half-month period have been determined to be an outbreak by county health officials.
Bacterial meningitis is transmitted through the air via sneezed or coughed respiratory secretions, according to health officials.
Early symptoms of meningitis include high fever, severe headache, stiff neck, rash, nausea, vomiting and lethargy.
Doctors say symptoms can be similar to the flu. Diagnosis and treatment are critical for recovery because the disease can progress in as little as 12 hours.
SDSU officials said: “SDSU is continuing its partnership with county public health officials to monitor the outbreak. While SDSU has been active in an ongoing educational effort informing the campus community this fall about preventive vaccines and healthy habits, we are both continuing and expanding our encouragement of these means of prevention.
San Diego County Public Health Services recommends that all undergraduate students under 24 years of age who have not been immunized against meningococcus B (MenB) are highly encouraged to get vaccinated with one of the two available meningococcal B vaccines.”
County Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten said, “Although most students on the SDSU campus have been vaccinated as teenagers with a quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine, many have not gotten the serogroup B vaccine, which is needed to protect against the bacteria that has caused these recent illnesses. Meningococcal disease can be serious and deadly, so we want anyone to be alert for symptoms and seek care should they occur."