MOHW investigates suspected case of meningitis
Health officials say that there is no recent confirmation of a diagnosis of bacterial meningitis. The comment from the Ministry of Health and Wellness comes after a letter surfaced, bearing the Holy Redeemer letterhead. The letter was addressed to parents, informing them that there would be no classes today, and that an Infant one student had been positively diagnosed with bacterial meningitis. Our newsroom reached out to the principal, Leticia Wright, but she had declined to comment. We did notice the infant one classes closed for the day, but even so, health officials had declined a request for an interview on the matter. It is a matter of concern, as not only is bacterial meningitis contagious, but there was the recent death of a 9-year-old student back in December last year. During the news cycle of that case last month, the Director of Public Health and Wellness, Dr Melissa Diaz-Musa, had confirmed the seriousness of the disease.
Dr. Melissa Diaz – Musa, Director of Public Health and Wellness: “When someone gets infected with a bacteria or virus as you know even in a household you might have a cold going around but somebody gets very sick compared to someone else. So there are different factors that contribute to how unwell you get from an infection. I mean somebody could have for example a urinary tract infection and might not need anything you just drink a lot of water and then you have someone who is hospitalized and in septicemia with a urinary tract infection. So the hospital doctors, the pediatrician looking after his care they are going into detail to see if there was perhaps if he had some risk factors or you know children might maybe he had just gotten better from another infection so there are many things that contribute to your immune response. So it’s not anything to say that one person will definitely be very very ill and another won’t. Meningitis on a whole is something that is a serious infection so if you could imagine that the meninges are protecting our brain and spinal cord and your brain is responsible for everything in your body just having meningitis whether it’s viral, fungal, bacterial that is a major diagnosis. So people with meningitis no matter what organism causes it may have long lasting side effects from meningitis. Some people recover but are not able to hear or it affects many different aspects so we can’t definitely pinpoint to say who would get severe meningitis or who won’t.”
In the letter from Holy Redeemer Infant School, the principal cautioned the parents to monitor their child closely for any symptoms that may prompt medical care. Additionally, the principal had assured the parents that the classrooms are being properly sanitized in accordance with public health protocols. Just before six o’clock this evening, the ministry issued a statement, saying that they have been alerted of the potential case of a 6-year-old. It goes on further to note that their preliminary laboratory results suggest that it is not bacterial meningitis, and that the child is currently in good health. An investigation, however, will still be carried out, and that would include further testing, and measures for those who have had contact with the child.