UC Santa Barbara students say a fourth case of meningitis confirmed on campus has left them feeling unsettled and paranoid.
Four undergraduate students, three male and one female, became infected last month. Two of the students have recovered and are back in class, while a third is on the way to recovery, said campus spokesman George Foulsham.
One of the students, Aaron Loy, suffered a more severe case and both of his feet were amputated, according to an account by his family on the website CaringBridge, a nonprofit charity that offers families facing serious medical conditions personal Web pages.
"It's such an obscure, scary disease, so a lot of students are concerned," said Jonathan Abboud, 21, a political science major who is the student government president. "A lot of students aren't sharing drinks and food as much as they used to because that's one less thing to get us sick.... It's on everyone's mind."
Olivia Ravasio is wiping countertops more often and washing dishes thoroughly in the sorority house near campus that she shares with 15 women.
The Santa Barbara campus previously announced that it was providing preventive antibiotics to more than 500 students identified as close contacts of the students who became ill. The university also is cleansing and disinfecting residence halls, recreation centers and sports facilities.
Abboud said students were working to have the university provide extra supplies of hand sanitizers for the library and other public areas likely to be gathering spots before final exams.