October 18, 2014


SUBJECT:    Important Information About Meningitis

We want to provide UC San Diego Students with important information about meningococcal meningitis. As you may be aware, there is a San Diego State University student diagnosed with meningococcal meningitis who is critically ill. Our hearts go out to that student and her family and our friends at San Diego State University.

What are the symptoms of meningococcal meningitis?

The early symptoms include high fever, severe headache, stiff neck, rash, nausea, vomiting and lethargy, and may resemble the flu. Because the disease progresses rapidly, often in as little as 12 hours, prompt diagnosis and treatment are important to assuring recovery.

What do I do if I may have been exposed?

People who have had close contact with someone diagnosed with meningococcal meningitis should receive preventive antibiotics. Close contact is defined as those living in the same household, sharing sleeping arrangements, and those who have been directly exposed to oral or nasal secretions of the infected person (e.g., kissing, sharing drinks, toothbrushes, unwashed eating utensils, lip balms or cigarettes/other smoking products, or close face-to-face contact (e.g., at a party) with the infected person).

In this most recent case in San Diego preventive antibiotic medication is recommended for persons with direct contact with the ill student between October 5-14, 2014. For those with exposures before October 5, antibiotic prophylaxis is unlikely to be of benefit.

Those who may need antibiotic prophylaxis include:

• Those who spent significant time at the SDSU Kappa Delta
sorority during October 5-14, 2014.

• Attendees of a party at SDSU Alpha Epsilon Pi, Wednesday, October 8th

• Attendees of a party at SDSU Delta Sigma Phi, Thursday, October 9th

Antibiotic prophylaxis is NOT recommended for casual contacts like sitting in the same classroom, restaurant, transportation, workplace, or most social contacts.

Who to call if you had contact with the infected person:

If you had close contact with the SDSU student diagnosed with meningitis as described above but are otherwise well, please call Student Health Services at 858-534-3300 to speak to a registered nurse. If you are calling during the weekend, please call 858-534-3300 and select option 1 to speak to the “after hours advice” nurse who will assist you.

If you believe you had direct contact with the SDSU student AND have the symptoms listed above, you should seek evaluation at an emergency department immediately. Use general precautions to reduce spreading illness like washing your hands often and covering your cough.

For more information about Meningococcal Meningitis, visit the UCSD Student Health Services website at:

Thank you and have a healthy quarter at UC San Diego.

Juan C. Gonzalez
Vice Chancellor Student Affairs

Karen J. Calfas, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Student Health and Well-being

Stacie San Miguel, M.D.
Student Health Services