SANTA BARBARA (CBSLA.com/AP) — Authorities say a fourth student has contracted meningitis at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department announced Monday that all four students became ill with the bacterial illness last month, including one case that cost an undergraduate athlete both of his feet.
The family of Aaron Loy, a freshman lacrosse player, says he had both feet amputated when the disease affected the blood supply to his limbs. He remains hospitalized.
School officials say a number of steps have been taken to minimize the spread of the disease, including providing preventive antibiotics to more than 500 students who were identified as close contacts of the initial three ill students.
Close contacts of the fourth case have also identified and have received antibiotics, officials said.
Bacterial meningitis can be spread through kissing, coughing or prolonged contact. Symptoms can include fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea and vomiting.
Several deaths linked to meningitis have been reported in Southern California since January, including West Hollywood attorney Brett Shaad, who was removed from life support in April.
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