Posted July 21, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT
YOUNGSVILLE — A Youngsville day care center was open Tuesday after being closed Monday as Franklin County health officials tried to stop the spread of a potentially deadly bacteria.
The move came one day after a worker at the Shining Time Development Center tested positive for meningococcal meningitis -- a rare, sometimes deadly form of the affliction. The 18-year-old staffer is in stable condition at Duke University Medical Center in Durham.
Health officials say that this case of bacterial meningitis is very serious -- the worker had contact with fourteen babies who usually spend their days at Shining Time. Those babies got immediate preventative treatment. Each was given four doses of the antibiotic Rifadin.
Bacterial meningitis can be a serious disease for anyone -- but it can be especially dangerous for babies. That's why Shining Time director Faith Watson voluntarily closed the day care center, spending Monday disinfecting the facility.
There are two types of meningitis. Viral meningitis is more common, and much more treatable. Bacterial meningitis, which includes meningococcal, is rare and can be more serious. Untreated, it can be deadly.
About five to ten percent of the general population carries the meningococcal bacteria in their nose and throat, but they never develop the disease.