Two meningitis-related cases confirmed at UC Santa Barbara

Two UC Santa Barbara students have been diagnosed with meningococcal disease, which causes meningitis. Above, a file photo of the UC Santa Barbara campus.
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Health officials at UC Santa Barbara are on high alert after two students were recently diagnosed with the disease that causes meningitis.

The students have been isolated and are receiving medical treatment, according to the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department. The first case of meningococcal disease was diagnosed last week, and soon after, a second was confirmed, according to a statement released by the university Monday.

The university also announced that it has increased cleaning procedures in residence halls, the recreation center and sports club facilities and on any sports equipment.


Meningococcal disease is bacterial and causes bloodstream infections and meningitis. College students, especially those living in residence halls, are prone to contracting the disease, which causes high fever, severe headaches, rash and increased sensitivity to light, according to health officials.

The university reminded students, and those who have gone without a vaccination since age 16, that the health department provides meningitis shots on a walk-in basis. The university center will also offer shots.

The two cases of meningococcal disease at UC Santa Barbara haven’t been linked to a meningitis outbreak at Princeton University in New Jersey that has affected six students and one visitor since March.


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