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Three Rivers reports meningitis

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Posted: Thursday, February 14, 2013 1:15 am

FREMONT – Three Rivers District Health Department was notified on Thursday of a possible case of meningitis in its three county district. On Friday, Feb. 8 one case of bacterial meningitis, Neisseria meningitidis, also called meningococcal meningitis, was confirmed. 

The patient is being treated at an Omaha hospital. 

Three Rivers is working with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. As a preventative measure, those individuals identified as being in close contact of the patient have received prophylactic antibiotics.

Meningococcal meningitis is transmitted by large droplets expelled by coughing or sneezing.  Fortunately, the bacteria that cause meningitis are not as contagious as things like the common cold or the flu, and they are not spread by casual contact.

Individuals with concerns are asked to contact their healthcare provider or Three Rivers District Health Department at 402-727-5396 for more information.

Meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. People sometimes refer to it as spinal meningitis. Meningitis is usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection.

High fever, headache, and stiff neck are common symptoms of meningitis in anyone over the age of two years. These symptoms can develop over several hours, or they may take one to two days.

Bacterial meningitis is a potentially fatal disease. Immediate medical care including the use of antibiotics can greatly reduce the risk of death.

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