A recent letter was sent to parents of Rising Starr Middle School students advising that a student at the school had been diagnosed with bacterial meningitis. The good news is that no other cases of the disease have been reported.
The eighth-grade student had been confirmed with bacterial meningitis and had been absent from school for five days. The student is being treated at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and is responding well, said Fayette County School System Health Services Coordinator Debbie King in a March 22 letter.
School system spokesperson Melinda Berry-Dreisbach said this was the only case of bacterial meningitis reported in the school system.
King said bacterial meningitis is an infection causing inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
The common symptoms include high fever plus headache, neck stiffness, nausea and vomiting, drowsiness, change in mental status, sensitivity to light and possibly a generalized pinpoint red or purple rash.
Recognition is the most important, King explained.
“If your child develops a fever with any other symptoms listed above, seek medical attention immediately. Bacterial meningitis can progress rapidly with life-threatening symptoms in a matter of hours,” said King. ”The incubation period for bacterial meningitis is from one to 10 days. Only persons in close contact with a child with bacterial meningitis, such as household members, are given preventive antibiotics.”
King noted that good hand-washing will help prevent the spread of all germs including bacterial meningitis.