Local News

Woman Dies of Meningitis in Warren County

Posted June 10, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— A 17-year-old Warren County woman died Monday night of meningococcal meningitis.

County health officials want to warn anyone who might have had close contact with Aretha Fedee since May 30 to contact the Warren County Health Department.

Fedee's cousin Kristy Watson is having a hard time dealing with the loss. She says she can hardly believe Fedee is gone. Grieving makes it difficult to think about anything else-- especially the possibility of having contracted the disease herself.

The disease is contagious, but is only transmitted by close contact such as kissing, and sharing food, utensils or drink containers. Any child under the age of 5 who has been exposed to the infected person should also be checked. That includes Fedee's newborn baby.

Health officials are also interviewing friends and family of Fedee to determine who may have been exposed to the illness. So far, they've identified 33 people who may be at risk.

Health officials say the various forms of meningitis can be successfully treated when diagnosed early. Symptoms include sudden fever, nausea and vomiting, a pink rash, intense headache and a stiff or aching neck.

The telephone number for the Warren County Health Department is 919-257-1185.

Photographer:Mark Copeland