A Cuesta college student living in San Luis Obispo has died of bacterial meningitis, the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department said Thursday.
Health officials say laboratory tests to confirm the diagnosis are underway.
In the meantime, public health officials reported working with local hospitals, the college, and people who were in close contact with the student to determine if there was another person who might be infected. These people would receive preventive antibiotics.
A message sent to students and employees of Cal Poly indicates that the student also had links to the Cal Poly community.
Bacterial meningitis is an infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord. It can be passed on through a kiss, sharing cooking utensils, a glass of drink or any other prolonged and very close contact. It is not easily transmitted by casual contact or by air.
The symptoms of bacterial meningitis usually include sudden fever, headache, and stiff neck. It may start with flu-like symptoms and may also include nausea, vomiting, rash, confusion, and increased sensitivity to light.
Anyone with symptoms of bacterial meningitis should seek immediate medical attention. It can be treated with antibiotics.
There are also two types of vaccines available to protect against the disease.