San Diego Fifth-Grader Diagnosed with Meningitis - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

San Diego Fifth-Grader Diagnosed with Meningitis

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The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency announced Friday that a fifth-grader at a Coronado elementary school has been diagnosed with meningococcal meningitis.

Officials at Silver Strand Elementary School have sent letters to parents of children in the sickened student's class detailing the symptoms of the disease and recommended precautionary measures, according to the HHSA.

The child, who was last at school on Monday, was hospitalized but is doing well, according to the HHSA.

"Bacterial meningitis is spread by close contact," said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county's public health officer. "Oral secretions transferred by sharing food, drinks, water bottles, lip balm and other oral contact spreads this potentially serious disease and should be avoided."

Wooten said parents should ensure that their children receive the age-appropriate vaccinations to help prevent the spread of the disease.

Meningococcal meningitis is an infection of the fluid of a person's spinal cord and the fluid that surrounds the brain, according to the HHSA.

Symptoms of the disease, which can be treated with antibiotics, can be severe and may result in brain damage, hearing loss or learning disability.

Symptoms include fever, headache, stiff neck and unusual fatigue. A rash, sore throat and vomiting can also occur.

The time between exposure to the disease and the onset of symptoms is usually three to four days, according to the HHSA.

County health officials said any children exhibiting symptoms of meningitis should be taken immediately to a doctor's office or emergency room.

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