Caldwell Co. student hospitalized with Pneumococcal Meningitis

- A Child at Hudson Elementary School in Caldwell County has been hospitalized with Pneumococcal Meningitis.

This is a form of streptococcal. The student has not been in school all week, according to a spokesperson for the schools.

The school system sent out a message to families Tuesday night.

According to Caldwell County Health Department’s Medical Director, Dr. Mark Picton:

Meningitis can come from bacteria, viruses or other causes. The kind of meningitis diagnosed in this child is called pneumococcal meningitis. It is caused by bacteria called Streptococcus pneumonia. Many people, especially children, carry this bacteria in their throats without being ill. This bacteria is spread through respiratory droplets from the nose or mouth. However, most people who come in contact with this bacteria will not get sick. Antibiotic treatment (Prophylaxis) is not generally recommended for people who have been in close contact with an individual with this type of meningitis.

Meningitis is an irritation of the coverings of the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms may include the following:

  • Sudden onset of fever
  • Severe headache
  • Stiff neck
  • Nausea or vomiting

Young children receive Pneumococcal Vaccine for immunity. As a reminder, good hand washing practices can help to prevent the spread of bacteria and other causes of infection.

The Health Department is working closely with the School System to ensure the safety of all children. 

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