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Published On: Wed, Nov 27th, 2013

UC Santa Barbara freshman, Aaron Loy, has feet amputated due to meningococcal disease

The University of California, Santa Barbara meningitis outbreak affected three students in recent weeks, in which two have recovered and returned to school.

However, one student, a lacrosse player from Carlsbad, the devastation of what meningococcal disease can do is much more apparent.

UCSB freshman, Aaron Loy, who has been battling the severe bacterial infection for two weeks recently has both his feet amputated as part of his recovery, according to his family’s notes on the site, Caring Bridge.

In the Nov. 21 entry of the journal they write:

Antibiotics have since eradicated the Neisseria meningitidis bacteria, however Aaron’s body is valiantly fighting to recover from the destructive effects of the toxins, severe sepsis (blood infection) and disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC).   We learned early on that this strain of meningitis caused Aaron’s vascular system to both clot and bleed uncontrollably.   Paradoxically, while some tissues were hemorrhaging, clots were being formed in other blood vessels, cutting off critical blood supply. Without blood supply, organs and tissue cannot survive.   Aaron’s doctors heroically used various medications, surgeries and procedures to restore vascular flow to his arms and legs.  Unfortunately the clotting in his feet was too severe and inaccessible (micro capillaries).  Tragically the tissue, muscle and nerves in his feet became irreversibly necrotic.   Yesterday Aaron’s feet were amputated to save his lower legs and to reduce the risk of further infection.

Loy first received treatment at Cottage Hospital and then was transported via a medical plane to UC San Diego. In fact, it is recognized by his family and doctors, “Had his suite mates not gotten Aaron to the ER, or had the doctors not treated him as quickly/aggressively as they did, the outcome would have certainly been fatal.”

The UCSB Lacrosse team has been tweeting about Aaron since mid-November with updates and prayers for their teammate.

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According to the most recent email sent to students, parents, faculty and staff on Friday, over 500 students received prophylactic antibiotics .

Concerning the use of Bexsero, the meningitis B vaccine which is not licensed in the US, school officials say County and  State Public Health and Centers for Disease Control working to identify strains and advise on further preventive measures – at this time they do not believe the unlicensed serogroup B meningoccocal vaccine is needed, but we will continue to update you.

The vaccine will be available to some 6,000 students at Princeton University starting Dec. 9.

Send your thoughts and prayers to Aaron Loy and his family here.

 

For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He regularly writes about infectious disease news for Examiner.com and administers the Outbreak News section of The Global Dispatch.

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  1. […] The PHD says all four students with meningococcal disease became ill within a three week time period of November 2013. One case, that of freshman Aaron Loy, has resulted in permanent disability. […]

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