Second Meningitis case confirmed in Lowndes County - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Second Meningitis case confirmed in Lowndes County

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Press Release from the South Health District-

The Georgia Public Health Laboratory has confirmed a second case of Neisseria meningitis (meningococcal meningitis) in Lowndes County.

South Health District received the positive culture results from the state lab Monday, March 16. All appropriate contacts have been treated with preventive medications. 

The initial case was a 24 year old female diagnosed in early March, who has recovered and been discharged from the hospital. The second case was a young child who died shortly after admission to the hospital.

Public Health has investigated both cases and has found no contacts in common between the two. "This type of meningitis usually occurs as isolated cases," said Dr. Lynne Feldman, District Health Director.

"This type of disease is extremely rare. We have no reason to expect any other cases in Lowndes County, but we are monitoring the situation very closely."

Meningococcal disease is a serious bacterial illness, which is the leading cause of bacterial meningitis in children 2 through 18 years of age in the United States. Meningitis is an infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. The disease is spread through air droplets and direct contact with someone who is infected. Symptoms of meningitis appear suddenly and often include high fever, severe and persistent headache, stiff neck, muscle pains, nausea and vomiting.

Changes in behavior such as confusion, sleepiness, and difficulty waking up may also occur. Prompt medical attention is required when symptoms of meningitis are present.

               

Anyone can get meningococcal disease, but it is most common in infants less than one year of age and people with certain medical conditions, such as lack of a spleen. College freshmen who live in dormitories and teenagers 15 to 19 have an increased risk of getting meningococcal disease.

There are two types of meningococcal vaccine in the United States which are approved for use in persons aged 2 yrs and older. "The newest vaccine provides excellent immunity and should be considered for eligible children and adolescents," stated Feldman.

               

The meningococcal conjugate vaccine is recommended for children and adolescents 11 through 18 years of age. This vaccine is normally given during the routine preadolescent immunization visit (11-12 years).

Meningococcal vaccine is also recommended for:

œ             Anyone who did not get the vaccine during their preadolescent

immunization visit.

œ             College freshmen living in dormitories.

œ             U.S. military recruits.

œ             Anyone traveling to, or living in, a part of the world where

meningococcal disease is common, such as Africa.

œ             Anyone who has a damaged spleen, or whose spleen has been

removed.

œ             Anyone who has an immune system disorder, such as organ

transplant recipients and persons on chemo therapy.

Individuals can receive the vaccine at the Lowndes County Health Department for $109. Children 18 years and younger may be eligible for Vaccines for Children vaccine and their cost would be $10. Individuals should check with their insurance carriers for coverage.

For more information on meningococcal disease visit the CDC at www.cdc.gov, the Georgia Division of Public Health at http://health.state.ga.us or South Health District at www.southhealthdistrict.com.