A student at Queenspark Primary School in Christchurch is undergoing preventive treatment for meningitis. (File photo).
A student at Christchurch Primary School on preventative treatment for meningitis has prompted his school to alert parents.
Queenspark School has been informed that a pupil is on preventative treatment for meningitis, along with several pupils being treated for a flu-like illness, a message to parents said on Monday.
The school was following Department of Health advice to notify the community as a “precautionary measure”, principal Ross Willocks said.
Antibiotic treatment has been recommended for close contacts of those with meningococcal disease (which causes meningitis), Canterbury Medical Officer Matthew Reid said.
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Te Whatu Ora Canterbury (formerly Canterbury District Health Board) did not comment on the care of individual patients, but contacts of contacts were not at risk, Reid said.
Quick facts – meningitis:
- Symptoms of viral and bacterial meningitis may be similar at first. Symptoms of bacterial meningitis are usually more severe.
- Symptoms differ between adults and infants.
- Joint pain, vomiting, fever and stiff neck are common. Infants may refuse to eat, have a mottled complexion and a high-pitched cry.
- In some cases, meningitis can lead to permanent disability such as deafness, limb amputation, or brain damage.
- Bacterial meningitis is caused by close personal contact, such as coughing, sneezing, and kissing.
- Anyone experiencing similar symptoms is advised to seek immediate medical attention.
- Viral meningitis is less serious than the other types. It is more common in young children and in people under the age of 40.