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DOH - Student in QC university dies in meningococemia

DoH: Student in QC university dies of meningococcemia

By Thea AlbertoINQ7.netLast updated 08:43pm (Mla time) 08/09/2006

A STUDENT from a university in Quezon City has died of meningococcemia, prompting school officials to send home some 5,000 elementary and high school students, officials said.

Some 5,000 elementary and high school students of the New Era University in Quezon City were sent home Wednesday following reports that a pupil had died of meningococcemia.

Dr. Irene Grafil of the Department of Health’s Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit told on Wednesday that the boy, a grade four student of the New Era University, “manifested signs and symptoms of meningococcemia like fever, rapid deterioration in less than 24 hours, developed seizures, and violatious skin [purple rashes].”

Grafil, who visited the school, said she also took a blood sample of the victim although there were no results yet.

The 11-year-old boy was brought to the San Lazaro Hospital in Manila. A staff member at the records office of the hospital cited meningococcemia as the cause of the boy’s death.

Grafil said she had given the boy’s family prophylaxis to prevent the spread of the disease. She added that the medication is expected to take effect in 24 hours.

The bacterial disease is usually transmitted like a cold through respiratory droplets such as saliva, sneezing, coughing.

Earlier in the day, Jose Ventilacion, a school administrator at the New Era University, said the boy died on Tuesday, a day after he was brought to the San Lazaro Hospital in Manila.
Classes were suspended to disinfect the campus and prevent the possible spread of the dreaded disease, Ventilacion said.

He said classes would resume Thursday. The Quezon City health department advised them there was no need to suspend operations as the disease was not airborne.

"Since the bacteria is not air borne, pwede na raw pumasok mga students [the students can go to classes] tomorrow," he said, adding the DoH had issued a clearance to the school to resume classes Thursday.

Ventilacion also said that so far there had been no reports of any student or school staff getting infected with the disease, although he said school officials were monitoring Rellegue’s classmates and other students.

"But so far, mukhang wala namang nahawa, okay naman classmates and teachers niya [it seems that no one was infected, his classmates and teachers are okay]" he said.

He advised parents of the students to bring their children to a doctor when they show signs of being sick.

With DJ Yap, Inquirer

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