Doctor says Albany meningitis case not public health threat - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Doctor says Albany meningitis case not public health threat

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November 27, 2007

Albany -- The Doctor treating the 16 year old Albany High Student with bacterial meningitis says his classmates do not need to be concerned about catching the disease.

School officials sent a letter home to Albany High Students Monday night informing parents about the bacterial meningitis confirmation.  Albany Police Officers who came in contact with the teen were given medicine to prevent infection, and the car used to transport the teen was quarantined.

Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Craig Smith says the pneumococcal meningitis he has is not easily spread from person to person. Dr. Smith said "this is not a major public health threat. Then everybody needs to know about it, everybody needs to be re-educated about it, but not everybody needs to be paranoid about it. Because it's not that type of a contagious disease."

Dr. Smith said the virus that causes the meningitis is in everyone's nose or throat on a regular basis. It is usually only a threat to very young or old people, or people with problem immune systems.

Dr. Smith said the teen is recovering well.

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