Durham 5-year-old dies from probable case of meningitis
Posted November 14, 2013
Durham, N.C. — A spokesman for the Durham County Department of Public Health said Thursday that health officials are investigating a probable case of bacterial meningitis after a 5-year-old child died Wednesday in Durham.
Eric Nickens, the health department's information and communications manager, said that nine other children who attend Mount Zion Christian Academy, at 3519 Fayetteville St., are being treated with preventative antibiotics because they had been in close contact with the child.
The unidentified child presented no symptoms of the disease until Wednesday morning and later died at Duke University Hospital, Nickens said.
It could be several days however, before lab results confirm the case, he continued, also noting that sometimes results are inconclusive.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, symptoms of an infection develop within three to seven days of exposure and include a sudden onset of a fever, headache or stiff neck. Those signs can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, increased sensitivity to light and an altered mental status.
Bacterial meningitis can be transmitted through the exchange of respiratory and throat secretions, such as kissing, the CDC says, but it cannot be spread through casual contact or by breathing the air where a person with the disease has been.
Donald Fozard Sr., pastor of Mount Zion Christian Church, would not comment Thursday about the case but said the day care was closed for cleaning crews to sanitize classrooms and would reopen Friday.
Fozard said the move was a precautionary measure that public health officials advised was unnecessary.