LEGAZPI CITY, 22June2013 (PNA) – A four-year-old girl suspected of being stricken by meningococcemia died on Friday afternoon at the Bulan Municipal Hospital in Bulan, Sorsogon, a ranking official of the Department of Health (DOH) in Bicol said today.
Gloria Balboa, DOH regional director, said in a text message that the patient, from Barangay Bical, Bulan, was admitted on Thursday after parents consulted physicians about her fever and rashes.
The town of Bulan is 124 kilometers away from this city.
Balboa said attending physicians suspected that the victim might have acquired symptoms of meningococcemia.
The fever, headache, vomiting, dyspnea and bluish rashes diagnosed on the victim are symptomatic of a person who has fallen ill of “meningo,” she pointed out.
Balboa, however, said the victim was still considered as a meningo suspect as blood samples will still undergo testing by the DOH laboratory unit.
She disclosed that the victim was buried at around 6 a.m., today at the town cemetery, with the town sanitary inspector supervising the burial.
As a standard practice, a casualty of meningo should be buried within 24 hours in order to prevent the spread of the disease.
Meningococcemia is an acute and potentially life-threatening infection of the bloodstream caused by bacteria called Neisseria meningitides, which frequently thrives in a person’s upper respiratory tract without causing visible signs of illness.
The bacteria can spread from person to person through respiratory droplets or being air borne.
Family members and those closely exposed to someone with the symptoms condition are at increased risk.
Symptoms may include fever, rashes, headache, anxiety, irritability, muscle pain and nausea.
As a preventive measure, the rural health unit of Bulan town is currently tracing the neighbors at the victim’s village whom she and family members had visited and made contact with.
Balboa said that in coordination with the DOH Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit, they have also fielded surveillance teams to trace people whom the victim might have contacted.
She dismissed earlier report that the Bulan hospital personnel who got in contact with the victim were quarantined, saying, “the hospital staff were given prophylaxis and not quarantined.” (PNA)