Marin officials identify man who may have died from meningitis

- The Marin County coroner on Friday identified a man who is believed to have died after he contracted meningitis.

Authorities said the cause of death for Sevin Philips, 48, of San Rafael, remained under investigation but meningitis was found in his body.

A family friend described Philips as a devoted husband and father of a young son. The friend says the people who knew and loved him are stunned and devastated this happened. Philips was a relationship therapist.

"He was a great guy. A lot of juicy energy. Fun to be around," said Nick Parsons who lives a few doors away.

Officials said anyone who had contact with Philips, who worked out at a gym in Larkspur, should contact their primary care doctor. Phillips reportedly had taken spin classes at the Soul Cycle gym.

Public health officials are reportedly trying to contact people who worked out at the gym and others who may have had contact with Philips.

Marin County Public Health Officer Dr. Matthew Willis said the meningitis case was reported to his office on Tuesday.

Philips worked out at the Soul Cycle gym in Larkspur, and the Marin County Communicable Disease Prevention and Control Unit is identifying and notifying individuals who may have been exposed to the bacterial infection between Dec. 31 and Jan. 7, Willis said.

So far 300 people have been contacted, and no additional cases have been reported, Willis said this afternoon.

Meningitis, an inflammation of the lining of the brain or spinal cord, known as the meninges, is not transmitted through perspiration but by inhaling respiratory droplets spread by coughing or sneezing.

Willis said the risk of contracting the bacterial injection at Soul Cycle or any gym is extremely low.

According to Mayo Health Clinic meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms include headaches, fever and a stiff neck. Read more about signs and symptoms here. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Bacterial Meningitis is spread through exposure to spit or saliva. Bacterial meningitis is treated with antibiotics.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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