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Advice issued after pupil falls ill with meningitis

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: April 09, 2014

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PARENTS have been urged to be on the lookout for symptoms of meningitis after a youngster was rushed to hospital with a suspected case.

Senior teachers at Ivanhoe College, in North Street, Ashby, sent an emergency letter out to all parents after the pupil was struck with what is believed to be the bacterial form of the illness that can prove fatal if not treated.

Anne-Marie Blewitt, principal at the school, revealed while risk of more cases was small, parents needed to be aware of what to look out for in terms of symptoms.

She said: “Public Health England have asked me to inform parents that a child from Ivanhoe College is in hospital with suspected meningococcal septicaemia caused by the meningococcal bacteria.

“They have considered the circumstances of the case and no further action is necessary at the present time.

“There is no cause for alarm and no reason to make any change in the college routine and or for children to be kept at home.

“Meningococcal bacteria are carried in the back of the throat of about one in ten people at any one time but only very rarely cause illness.

“Most people who carry the bacteria become immune to them.

“The bacteria do not spread easily and those who have had prolonged, close contact with the person are at a slightly greater risk of getting ill.

“These people have been identified and given antibiotics to stop the bacteria spreading.

“Although the risk of another case in the college is very small, it is sensible to be aware of the signs and symptoms.”

Dr Philip Monk, consultant in health protection for PHE East Midlands, said: “We have been notified of a probable case of meningococcal infection. A precautionary letter to parents has gone out informing them of the situation and to be aware of the signs and symptoms.

“Not all of these signs and symptoms may show at once. The illness may progress over one or two days but it can also develop very rapidly, sometimes in a matter of hours, so it is important to be vigilant. “If these signs and symptoms develop, your doctor must be contacted.”

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