Local News

Cumberland County Meningitis Cases Confirmed

Posted January 7, 2001

— TheCumberland County Health Departmenthas confirmed two cases ofmeningitis. Inunrelated casesa 19-year-old and a 13-year-old have been treated for the severe infection.

Health department officials were hoping test results would help them determine if the meningitis was viral or bacterial, which can be deadly. But the results, back Monday, were inconclusive.

"Even though it's still presumptive, based on the results of the spinal fluid which was cloudy, and the antigens that were found, we still found evidence to indicate we treat it as bacterial to be on the safe side," says Janet Lindbloom, county health director.

Eighteen people who may have had close contact with the 19-year-old at a New Years Eve party are being treated with medication as a precaution.

"We are more confident that we have given them medication they need," says Lindbloom. "Even though it's not 100 percent assuring they won't develop meningitis, it's a good proactive measure, a safe measure to take."/

Health officials emphasize that even though the 19-year-old worked at a restaurant, meningitis cannot be spread through food.

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