Local Man, 22, Dies From Meningococcal Disease

A second man with the disease is currently hospitalized in critical condition

By Monica Garske
|  Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013  |  Updated 7:48 PM PDT
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Local Man, 22, Dies From Meningococcal Disease

A local 22-year-old man has died from meningococcal disease, the County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) announced Wednesday.

According to the HHSA, the previously healthy man was admitted to a local hospital on Apr. 9 and died the following day from the disease.

In another unrelated case of meningococcal disease, HHSA officials say a 47-year-old man is currently hospitalized and in critical condition.

The HHSA has identified all close contacts of both individuals and they have received preventive antibiotic treatment.

The HHSA says meningococcal disease is spread through close contact with the person infected, such as sharing drinking glasses, eating utensils, cigarettes or water bottles.

Symptoms may include fever, intense headache, lethargy, stiff neck and a rash that does not blanch under pressure. The time between exposure and onset of symptoms can be between two to 10 days.

The HHSA says the disease can be treated with antibiotics or vaccination, which is highly recommended for children and teens between 11 and 18 years old.

In addition to these latest cases, two more local cases of probable meningococcal disease were also recently reported, according to the HHSA. One is a previously healthy 31-year-old man who’s recovering at a local hospital, while the other is a previously healthy 44-year-old woman.

So far in 2013, there have been five confirmed cases of the disease in San Diego County. In two of those cases, the infected individual has died. Last year there were eight total cases reported in San Diego.

The HHSA is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and Mexican public health officials to determine if these illnesses in San Diego are in any way related to cases of meningococcal disease in Tijuana this year.

Since Jan. 4, health officials say 20 cases of the bacterial disease have been confirmed in Baja California, including seven deaths.

To find out more about meningococcal disease and how to prevent it, visit this website.

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