Sacajawea Middle School student hospitalized with meningitis

Sacajawea Middle School student hospitalized with meningitis
By CDC [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Spokane Regional Health District is investigating a case of meningitis at at Sacajawea Middle School in Spokane.

A female student was hospitalized, but no other cases have been identified, according to SRHD. The health district said the risk of the disease spreading to others remains very low.

“We never want to see any of our students or families have to go through something like this. We continue to keep this student and her family in our hearts and thoughts,” said Brian Coddington, SPS community relations director. “Also, we know this news may cause unease among other students and families and that is understandable. We want to reiterate that no other cases have been identified and there is very low risk that others will become sick.”

Meningococcal disease is a contagious infection that can be very serious. It may cause infection of the covering of the spinal cord; bacteria in the blood or pneumonia, according to SRHD. It can be spread by close contact. Outbreaks typically happen in communities, schools, colleges and other high-risk populations.

“Also, public health has already been in contact with family and close contacts of the student as part of the investigation. In addition to ensuring they are aware of the very small risk of getting sick, we also make sure they are up to date on their vaccinations,” said Dr. Bob Lutz, SHRD health officer. “If close contact occurred — where saliva droplets may have been shared — we recommend these individuals look for meningitis signs and symptoms and contact their healthcare provider with any questions or concerns.”

SHRD said symptoms of meningitis include onset fever, headache, stiff neck, confusion and sometimes a rash.

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