#UCDavis student diagnosed with meningococcal disease

Aggie Alert: UC Davis student diagnosed with meningococcal disease

Feb. 23, 2015

A student who attends the University of California, Davis, has been diagnosed with meningococcal disease, a bacterial infection that can cause bloodstream infections and meningitis, the university and public health officials said today (Feb. 23).

The student is receiving medical care and treatment at a local hospital.

UC Davis and Yolo County Public Health teams are investigating the case, providing preventive antibiotics to contacts where indicated, and educating the university community about meningococcal disease. Close contacts of meningococcal cases who are recommended to receive preventive antibiotics include people who were exposed to the ill person’s respiratory and throat secretions through living in close quarters, or kissing or other prolonged close contact.

University and county health officials are identifying people who had close contact with the student and recommending antibiotics to protect them from becoming ill. Officials are not recommending antibiotic prophylaxis for community members or UC Davis students in general. Prophylaxis is recommended for people specifically identified as close contacts of the ill student.

Meningococcal disease signs and symptoms, which are sometimes mistaken for those of flu early in the course of illness, can include:

•       High fever
•       Severe headache
•       Rash
•       Body aches/joint pain
•       Nausea/vomiting
•       Increased sensitivity to light
•       Confusion

Anyone with the signs or symptoms of meningococcal disease should seek medical care immediately. Early treatment of meningococcal disease is critical as the infection can quickly become life threatening.

Students with questions or any of the above symptoms, contact: UC Davis Student Health and Counseling Services’ Advice Nurse Line, (530) 752-2349.

Parents, family members and the general public with questions or concerns, contact: Student Health and Counseling Services’ Directors Office, (530) 752-2333.

Covering coughs, keeping hands clean and being up to date with recommended vaccines, especially flu vaccine this time of year, are actions everyone can take to stay healthy, protect themselves from illness and prevent the spread of infections to others.

More information:
* CDC information on meningitis http://www.cdc.gov/meningococcal/index.html
* UC Davis Student Health and Counseling Services https://shcs.ucdavis.edu/

Media contacts:
* Beth Gabor, Yolo County PIO, (530) 666-8042beth.gabor@yolocounty.org
* Andy Fell, UC Davis News & Media Relations, (530) 752-4533ahfell@ucdavis.edu

About Jonathan Eisen

I am an evolutionary biologist and a Professor at U. C. Davis. (see my lab site here). My research focuses on the origin of novelty (how new processes and functions originate). To study this I focus on sequencing and analyzing genomes of organisms, especially microbes and using phylogenomic analysis

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