Health officials: Palomar College student has meningococcal dise - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Health officials: Palomar College student has meningococcal disease

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  • SDSU student died of strain not included in vaccine

    SDSU student died of strain not included in vaccine

    Tuesday, October 21 2014 9:26 AM EDT2014-10-21 13:26:34 GMT
    An 18-year-old San Diego State University student died of a strain of bacterial meningitis that is not usually targeted by the vaccine provided to youths in the United States, county health officials said Monday. 
    An 18-year-old San Diego State University student died of a strain of bacterial meningitis that is not usually targeted by the vaccine provided to youths in the United States, county health officials said Monday. 

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - County health officials say a student at Palomar College in San Marcos is recovering from meningococcal bacteria and that there is no known connection between that patient and a San Diego State University freshman who died Saturday of the bacterial disease.

No one at the community college has reported close contact with the student, who attended only one class in the past three weeks, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency reported Thursday.

By comparison, county health officials had been concerned about the possible exposure of several hundred students at SDSU, because Sara Stelzer, who died Saturday, was involved with a sorority and attended two fraternity parties a few days before she displayed symptoms.

"The risk to individuals who have not had close contact with the infected individual is very low," said Dr. Dean Sidelinger of the county's Public Health Services. "Meningococcal disease is spread through close contact with the person infected, but others should be aware of the symptoms so that they may seek care if they develop these symptoms."

There have been seven previous cases of meningococcal disease reported in San Diego County so far this year -- including two deaths. Last year, there were 16 cases. Since 2005, an average of 11 cases have been reported each year in the region.

Symptoms may include fever, intense headache, lethargy, stiff neck, and a rash that does not blanch under pressure. Anyone with potential exposure who develops any of the symptoms should immediately contact a healthcare provider or emergency room for evaluation of possible meningococcal disease.

The bacteria can be spread through close contact, such as sharing drinking glasses, eating utensils, cigarettes or water bottles. It can also be spread by 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.

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