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Cal Poly Student Diagnosed with Viral Meningitis

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo released the following information late Thursday:

A Cal Poly student has been diagnosed with viral meningitis, university medical staff learned Thursday.

However, the infection is thought to be an isolated incident, and university medical staff sees no evidence of a significant risk of exposure to the broader campus community.

The ill student is an off-campus resident and is receiving medical care. Cal Poly Health Center staff members have informed other students who have been in contact with the infected student and advised them on signs and symptoms that would necessitate medical attention.

There are two main types of meningitis — viral and bacterial. Viral meningitis is serious, but not usually as serious as bacterial meningitis.

People usually recover from viral meningitis within one to two weeks without any long-term problems. Both types may have the same symptoms. They may include: fever, stiff neck, headache, confusion and often a rash. You may still have meningitis if only some symptoms are present.

It is important that doctors perform tests to determine the type of meningitis a person has, because bacterial meningitis is a medical emergency that can result in prolonged hospitalization.

It can be transmitted through intimate contact with an infected person including, kissing, sharing glasses, cups, silverware, toothbrushes, cigarettes, etc. In either type, symptoms can develop very quickly.

Early recognition and rapid transport to the hospital is essential for diagnosis and successful treatment. Both viral and bacterial meningitis require individuals who have had close contact with an exposed person to be screened.

Individuals exposed to bacterial meningitis may be given preventative antibiotics to avoid development of meningitis.

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