Bacterial Meningitis Strikes Jefferson City Student

1 decade 2 years 1 month ago Wednesday, March 29 2006 Mar 29, 2006 Wednesday, March 29, 2006 11:13:23 AM CST March 29, 2006 in News

Doctors have diagnosed the student, who attends Simonsen 9th Grade Center, with the extremely contagious, although relatively rare, disease.

Other people at risk for contracting it include those who shared sleeping arrangements, saliva-transmitting objects such as cigarettes, food or drink, or kissed or gave mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to the sick student. Health officials urged people who had close contact with anyone from Simonsen to contact a doctor immediately.

"They are currently contacting the student's family and those who would be in close proximity with that student," said David Luther of Jefferson City Public Schools. "It's my understanding that this is a situation where you can't be infected through casual contact."

Officials say at-risk people should look for common symptoms, which include fever or severe and sudden headache, nausea or vomiting, stiff neck or pain in the shoulders and back, or a red, pin-point rash. And, parents should watch for high fever and irritability in young children. The school could not distribute information during classes on Friday because the health department's diagnosis came just before dismissal time.

The student was resting at home Friday evening. Officials said they're not worried about an outbreak among other students.

For more information, call the Cole County Health Department at 573-636-2181.

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