Meningitis Reported In Orange County

By: Sarah Batista
By: Sarah Batista

February 21, 2005

A boy in Orange County has been diagnosed with meningitis and now parents and school officials are doing everything they can to prevent its spread.

The six-year-old boy, a kindergartner at Orange Elementary, went home sick on Tuesday, February 15th with symptoms of nausea and fever.

By Friday the 18th, school officials confirmed that the child had a type of bacterial meningitis, a serious infection spread through contact with the mouth. In some cases it can cause brain damage, or even death if left untreated.

"We felt it was important to let parents know, so the superintendent sent a letter home to parents," said Jesse Magruder, principal of Orange Elementary.

The letter, warning parents and teachers, described the symptoms of meningitis and how to prevent it.

We spoke to two parents with children at the school who hadn't read the letter until we showed it to them. They say they're pleased with the school's handling of the situation.

"Of course I am concerned, but I hope that the Orange County School Board is doing the right thing in letting us know right away," said parent Sarah Stanley.

"I feel confident that the school did everything they could to reach the parents of the children in that class, said Gina Miller, another parent."It was resolved by making sure every parent got the antibiotic for their child."

That seemed to be the feeling among most of the parents.

"Parents have been pretty understanding, I've only gotten about two to three calls and most of those calls were in the initial stage," said Magruder.

So far, last week's case seems to be an isolated one. Although school officials aren't sure how the child contracted the germ, they do expect him to make a full recovery.

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