Around 200 people who have recently taken a class at the SoulCycle in Larkspur have been contacted by the Marin County Department of Public Health after a man who worked out at the facility died of bacterial meningitis.* As the Marin Independent Journal reports, no details about the deceased man, including his age or name, have been revealed, but frequent SoulCyclers whom the facility has identified as having shared a class with the man are being informed of their possible exposure and told to seek prophylactic treatment.
As you may know, bacterial meningitis is spread much the way the flu is, through coughing or sneezing, and contact with surfaces that then leads to contact with the eyes, nose, or mouth. Even with close exposure the risk of infection is low, says public health officer Dr. Matt Willis, but nonetheless Marin SoulCyclers contacts are told get a single dose of Cipro, a.k.a. the antibiotic ciprofloxacin.
Symptoms of the disease include headache, fever and neck rigidity, and presuming that this was a meningococcal infection, a vaccine also exists for this type. And so far, there has only been the single, fatal case in Marin.
"These cases often happen as an isolated incident,” Willis told the Marin IJ. “Our goal is to keep this at one case.”
It is not known where or how the man became infected, and the alert to SoulCycle customers is solely precautionary.
A spokesperson for SoulCycle told customers on Wednesday that the deceased person had not been to the location in over five days. “We’re deeply saddened by the passing of one of our riders," wrote studio manager Sanda Saveanu. "We’ve done a deep cleaning of our studio. We’re incredibly confident in our team and our processes to deliver a clean and safe environment. We use cleaning products that are specifically designed for sterilizing our studios, bikes, and towels to stop the spread of any illnesses."
* This post has been corrected, per a tipster familiar with the incident, to show that the deceased person was male, not female.