Potentially life-threatening infection diagnosed in Warren County
WARREN COUNTY, Ohio (WXIX) - A resident in Warren County has been diagnosed with meningococcal disease, the health district was notified on March 15.
The Warren County Health District says the disease is a type of bacterial infection caused by a germ called Neisseria meningitidis which has the potential of being life-threatening or causing long-term problems.
Invasive meningococcal infections most commonly cause meningitis, health officials say.
Less commonly, Neisseria meningitidis causes conjunctivitis, pneumonia, blood infection, septic arthritis or chronic meningococcemia, according to the health district. Neisseria meningitidis can be found in an infected person’s nose and mouth, a news release from the health district says.
Health officials say direct, prolonged contact with an infected individual is required for infection to be spread to others. Examples of direct, prolonged contact are: roommates, household contacts, kissing and sharing objects contaminated with saliva such as drinks, water bottles, lipstick/lip balm, cigarette/vaping products, shared foods or eating utensils
Symptoms of meningococcal disease are non-specific but may include sudden onset of fever, severe headache, neck stiffness, joint pain, a rash of red-purple spots or bruises, dislike of bright lights, nausea and/or vomiting, according to the news release.
The WCHD says high-risk close contacts of the case have been notified. High-risk contacts include roommates, household contacts and those who have had direct contact with the case’s oral secretions, through kissing and sharing objects contaminated with saliva such as drinks, water bottles, lipstick/lip balm, cigarette/vaping products, and foods or eating utensils.
A short course of antibiotics is recommended for high-risk contacts within 24 hours of diagnosis of the case. Persons only having casual contact such as school or workmates are low-risk contacts. No further action for low-risk contacts is required except to watch for symptoms, health officials say.
Routine vaccination for meningococcal disease typically happens for adolescents aged 11-12 and a booster at ages 16-18 years. If you are unsure whether you have been vaccinated for meningococcal disease, the WCHD says check with your physician.
The Warren County Health District has vaccines for meningococcal disease available. For further information on meningococcal disease, go to https://www.cdc.gov/meningococcal/ or call the Warren County Health District at 513-695-2097.
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