Meningitis found in two Santa Clara students

Two Santa Clara University students have been found with meningitis, university and county health officials said Tuesday.

In a letter Tuesday to the campus community, university Vice Provost Jeanne Rosenberger said tests confirmed that an undergraduate student who was hospitalized Sunday was found with meningococcal meningitis.

The student’s illness stemmed from the bacteria Neisseria meningitidis, serogroup B, according to Rosenberger.

A separate letter sent to the campus community Tuesday by the Santa Clara County Public Health Department said a second undergraduate student admitted to a hospital has also been confirmed to have the infection.

The department is working with university officials to identify other students who made contact with the two ill students from Jan. 24 to Sunday and offer them antibiotics, according to Rosenberger.

Vaccines for meningococcal meningitis B will be available for students on Thursday and Friday, Rosenberger said.

Symptoms of bacterial meningitis include high fever, severe headache, an extremely stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, red rash, sensitivity to bright lights and confusion, university officials said.

The symptoms can develop over the course of several hours or one to two days. The illness can easily spread between people, but only by close or prolonged contact, according to the university.

University and county public health officials will be further discussing the cases during a news conference at the county’s Public Health Department in San Jose Wednesday morning.