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MORAGA: SMC Student Treated For Possible Meningitis


A Saint Mary’s College student has been transferred to a local hospital for treatment of suspected meningitis and is reportedly recovering after complaining of symptoms consistent with the illness Monday morning.

College spokesman Mike McAlpin confirmed Tuesday that a student was being treated but said that the presence of meningococcal disease had yet to be confirmed. Indeed, Contra Costa County Health Services officials said that while the student presented with symptoms consistent with the disease, no laboratory confirmation could be made.

McAlpin declined to give the age or sex of the student, citing college guidelines relating to student privacy. Students who contacted NEWS24-680 said the college was “cleaning up” classrooms and other areas where more than 50 students and faculty had come into contact with the affected student.

An admonition about possible risk to college freshmen at higher risk for meningococcal disease is posted on the college website, with instructions for those who suspect they have been infected to contact student health immediately for observation and treatment.

The bacterial disease, while rare, can be fatal in some cases. Health officials said it is spread through the air and can thrive in areas where unvaccinated people are living in close quarters – most often through coughing, sneezing, kissing or sharing common items.


  1. Thank you very much for this information. I see one other news source has picked up this story also. There is silence about it on the St. Mary’s website so for them I guess they are more interested in their reputation than the safety of others. One of our kids spent time there this weekend.

  2. I’m told there is a news van there right now at the front gate. However, I have no clue whether they are there for this reason of something completely different like sports coverage or something.

  3. Good story and we’re hoping for the best. The new unvaccinated kids can be hard hit by this sort of thing. They warn all incoming students at most colleges.

  4. Per the Kron4 website, a 3:44 pm update from Contra Costa Health Services announced the test neither confirmed nor ruled out meningitis. What does that mean? At least when I have no clue like in the post above, I say “I have no clue.”

  5. Correct. We were hoping for better, more definitive results but apparently more time is needed to determine exactly what they’re dealing with.

  6. Nasty stuff indeed. Apparently hard to diagnose. Per the Center for Disease Control, the viral form is much more common and less dangerous than the bacterial form of the disease. It is hard to treat something when you don’t quite know what it is…and it can kill quickly. I am guessing they put him/her on antibiotics in case it turns out to be bacterial because by the time the test results come back positive you may be out of time. Best wishes! Get those vaccines!

  7. Life in the residence halls while fun is the perfect environment for something like this. SMC warning clearly posted.

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