3 meningococcal disease cases at Calif. college - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

3 meningococcal disease cases at Calif. college

Posted:
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Meningococcal disease causes bloodstream infections and meningitis
  • The disease is the same bacteria seen at Princeton University
  • No link has been found between the California cases and those at Princeton

By Elizabeth Landau

Three students at the University of California Santa Barbara were being treated Thursday for meningococcal disease, a bacterial infection that causes bloodstream infections and meningitis, health officials said.

The students -- two males and a female -- became ill between November 11 and November 18, according to the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department.

Two cases are confirmed to be the same strain, said department spokeswoman Susan Klein-Rothschild. The three were in contact "directly or secondarily," she said.

All the cases were caused by meningococcal bacteria known as type B, the same strain found in seven cases of meningitis, an infection of the lining of the brain, at Princeton University since March.

However, no link has been found between the California cases and those at Princeton, the health department said.

"This is not expected, as cases of meningococcal disease can occur sporadically in college settings since this population has an increased risk," the department said in a statement.

Generally, college-aged youth, particularly those in their first year who live in residence halls, are at increased risk of meningococcal disease. Kissing, sharing eating utensils or food, and drinks or cigarettes can increase risk.

Public health officials and the university are looking into the cases. Some 300 students who have had close contact with the ill students were being given antibiotics, the statement said.

Princeton is preparing to provide a vaccine, unlicensed in the United States, which targets meningitis B, pending final approval from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Santa Barbara County, UCSB, California Department of Public Health and Centers for Disease Control have already had preliminary discussions about the vaccine," the statement said. "Santa Barbara County and UCSB will be monitoring the situation closely and continuing to explore the possibility of vaccination."

There are two forms of meningitis: bacterial and viral. The bacterial form is rare in the United States, and the group B bacterial strains are even more rare.

Symptoms can include stiff neck, headache, fever, vomiting, rashes, sensitivity to light and confusion. Untreated, the disease can lead to complications such as hearing impairment, brain damage, limb amputations and death.
   
 The-CNN-Wire
 ™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.
 

  • Armed Gunmen Ransack Apartment

    Armed Gunmen Ransack Apartment

    Thursday, July 31 2014 12:17 AM EDT2014-07-31 04:17:33 GMT
    Two armed gunman ransacked an apartment unit at the Glen Willows Apartments Wednesday evening. A 21-year-old man inside the apartment was told to stay on the ground while the crooks stole various items.More >>
    Two armed gunman ransacked an apartment unit at the Glen Willows Apartments Wednesday evening. A 21-year-old man inside the apartment was told to stay on the ground while the crooks stole various items.More >>
  • Residents Fight To Get Messy Situation Cleaned Up

    Residents Fight To Get Messy Situation Cleaned Up

    Thursday, July 31 2014 12:14 AM EDT2014-07-31 04:14:18 GMT
    Some Local residents banned together to do something about a messy problem that had been plaguing their street. Our Katia Uriarte explains what they did. If you have a trash or debris pick up complaint, you can reach out to the city at 361-826-3000The City also has an app called "My Waste App." You can use it to check out scheduled brush pick up dates, file a complaint, and more. You can get the app by clicking here.More >>
    Some Local residents banned together to do something about a messy problem that had been plaguing their street. Our Katia Uriarte explains what they did. If you have a trash or debris pick up complaint, you can reach out to the city at 361-826-3000The City also has an app called "My Waste App." You can use it to check out scheduled brush pick up dates, file a complaint, and more. You can get the app by clicking here.More >>
  • Special Report: On Shaky Ground

    Special Report: On Shaky Ground

    Thursday, July 31 2014 12:10 AM EDT2014-07-31 04:10:38 GMT
    One student wants to do voice over work in Hollywood. Another wants to get her degree in finance. What do they have in common? They both entered the country illegally. Although their deportations are frozen for now, their sense of belonging are split between two countries.Take a closer look in a 3News Special Report: On Shaky Ground.More >>
    One student wants to do voice over work in Hollywood. Another wants to get her degree in finance. What do they have in common? They both entered the country illegally. Although their deportations are frozen for now, their sense of belonging are split between two countries.Take a closer look in a 3News Special Report: On Shaky Ground.More >>