Rosemont High Senior Catches Meningococcal; Parents Warned

A student at the school was hospitalized after coming down with meningococcal disease.

A senior at Rosemont High School is currently hospitalized with a contagious and dangerous illness, and parents have been warned to watch for symptoms.

The senior, a 17-year-old, became sick with meningococcal disease on Friday, according to a newsletter from the school.

"Although the risk of disease to other students is quite low, parents are advised to be alert for signs of meningococcal disease," the newsletter states. "These include, but are not limited to: fever, headache, stiff neck, and/or rash that does not blanch on pressure (suggesting bleeding under the skin).

"If any of these signs or symptoms should develop, the student should be taken immediately to a physician or emergency room to be evaluated for possible meningococcal disease. Antibiotic treatment of the disease is usually successful, especially if it is started early."

The newsletter states that the Sacramento County Department of Health is "identifying persons who had close contact with this student and who should have antibiotic prophylaxis."

According to the California Department of Public Health, the disease can be spread by people who carry bacteria but aren't sick.

It can be spread by sharing drinks or food, kissing or by close contact, the department says.

And even if it's caught early, the disease can be fatal.

"Even if treated, 10–12 percent of people who get meningococcal disease will die from it," a California Department of Public Health flier states. "Of the survivors, 11–19 percent lose their arms or legs, become deaf or brain damaged, or suffer other complications."

Julie A. Thompson February 21, 2012 at 09:58 PM
@Cody, I can only speak for my son who is one of the students that did receive the antibiotic because he was ill with severe flu like symtoms, when we received word of his friend. However, he is being treated with Tamiflu, was given IV fluids, and was given several blood tests to rule out any possibility. He is simply sick with the flu and recovering. Also, both my sons were given the Meningicoccal vaccination at my request when they began playing team sports. The important things to watch for with the fever is the stiff neck, have the children do chin to chest test, moving head from side to side. If they develop the rash, that is very dangerous and you should be seeking immediate medical attention. Per the ER doctors we spoke with, when one has Meningitis you look very, very sick and time is of the essence. It is important for parents to not just give kids Tylenol or Motrin and tell them to sleep it off. Keep a close eye on your child and seek medical care, always better to take precautionary measures. I think it is also important for people to realize that this young man also does not know how he contracted the illness. As your article states, some people are carriers and don't even know it. Could have been from a restaurant, a grocery store, someone who has recently travelled abroad, but again it is not easy to catch and is very rare.
Julie A. Thompson February 23, 2012 at 10:04 PM
Julie A. Thompson February 23, 2012 at 11:49 PM
UPDATE: WE ARE SO HAPPY TO SHARE THIS NEWS WITH YOU...JUSTIN IS NOW OFF LIFE SUPPORT!!! The ventilator has been removed and Justin is breathing on his own! On behalf of Cathy Parr and her sons Justin and Dylan Foster...WE thank you for ALL YOUR LOVE AND SUPPORT! Please keep the prayers and support coming as he recovers! But let us rejoice in this moment. knowing that he is breathing on his own!!! I write this through tears of joy! I give thanks to God, The universe and all the wonderful ROSEMONT STUDENTS, FACULTY and COMMUNITY!
Christine Spindler February 24, 2012 at 01:40 AM
My 20 year old son died 9 years ago while attending his junior year of college in river Falls WI. He had the vaccination but the serogroup type B he contracted, from whoever, is not protected by vaccination. Type B. Is 30% or more of cases depending on the time and place. Cipro is generally the choice for preventative antibiotic. There were major mistakes made, which I learned later, by the attending physician. No one ever speaks of this disease which is not rare. Trust me! I probably know more about this disease than most health professionals. If I can be of any help, please do not hesitate to contact me. Remember, knowledge on this disease can save lives. This is a medical emergency! Sincerely, Christy, mother of Erik
Julie A. Thompson February 24, 2012 at 08:57 PM
Christine, I am so very sorry for your loss. I totatlly agree that knowledge is power!!! We hope that through Justin's story that more people get vaccinated and do also educate themselves. I do have one area where I disagree with you and that is it is a rare disease, we do not want to promote panic that is unnecessary. Only 1 in 100,000 people get it. There are many carriers that are unaware that they carry it. So we need to know how to recognize it quickly and treat it! However, Justin is making a slow, but steady recovery and we are Thankful for all the support we have and continue to receive. Justin's Mom has been through every emotion you can think of from sadness, to anger, to fear, to blame, and most of all Faith! She has rallied by his side and those of us lucky to be included right along side her. We hope to spare any parent this nightmare! Thank you!


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