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Meningitis Death Reported in Shasta County

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Updated: 5/14/2013 12:37 pm
Health officials are on alert after a child in Shasta County dies of bacterial meningitis. It happened last week and prompted a full investigation into who was exposed.

Because of privacy laws, Shasta Public Health officials can not reveal too much information about the actual case. They said Monday a child under 18 years of age died recently as a result of bacterial meningitis.

The illness can be spread through direct contact, but officials say it is not "highly" contagious.

All people that had direct contact with the child have been treated with antibiotics.

There is a meningitis vaccine, but it is not always effective.

“The vaccine covers four of the very common ones. A, C, W135, and Y. But it does not cover serial group B. So this particular meningococcal meningitis was caused by serial group B so they vaccine would make no difference to this particular strain,” said Dr. Andrew Deckert of Shasta Public Health.

Meningitis has symptoms similar to the common cold, but it also has fever, severe headache, rash, and stiff neck. These symptoms get progressively worse in just a few hours. If patients suspect they may be infected, they should immediately go to the hospital.

Health officials said Monday this is in no way an outbreak of meningitis, but just an isolated incident.

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