San Diego

Downtown Hostel Guest Diagnosed with Meningococcal Disease

A 24-year-old is recovering from meningococcal disease in an area hospital after being exposed to deadly disease-causing bacteria in a downtown hostel.

The County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) said it provided preventative treatment to more than two dozen other people who came in close contact with the patient at the hostel at 726 Fifth Avenue between July 4 and July 14.

The patient was admitted to the hospital on Saturday, the HHSA said.

“While meningococcal disease can be serious and deadly, it is not spread through casual contact,” said Sayone Thihalolipavan, M.D., M.P.H., County deputy public health officer. “The risk to anyone who was not in close contact to the person is minimal.”

Meningococcal disease is caused by the bacteria Neisseria meningitides and can be spread through sharing drinking glasses, silverware, cigarettes and other smoking material, as well as kissing and living in close quarters.

The HHSA said the time between exposure and the onset of symptoms can be between two and 10 days. Symptoms include fever, intense headache, lethargy, stiff neck or a rash that doesn’t disappear when you apply pressure.

Anyone who may have been exposed or who develops similar symptoms should seek immediate medical attention, the HHSA warns.

There have been five meningococcal disease cases reported in San Diego County this year and the county has seen an average of six per year over the last five years, the HHSA said.

More information can be found here.

Contact Us