Suspected Case of Meningitis Found in Bay County - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Suspected Case of Meningitis Found in Bay County

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A suspected case of meningitis was reported to the Bay County office of the Florida Department of Health, Monday.

The health department has already taken action and treated the case as if it is positive, to ensure the disease doesn't spread.

They are continuing to investigate the case which was caused by a bacterial infection.

Once someone is infected, the illness becomes very contagious.

"This was dealing with her immediate family, the lady was on vacation which was good, SO it was only dealing with her family," said Douglas Kent, Administrator, Florida Dept. of Health. "There were about 12 people involved, 4 kids and 8 adults."

The symptoms are the same in adults and children, although children or individuals who might have a rundown immune system are at a greater risk for contracting the illness.

Some of the symptoms include fever, intense headache, nausea, vomiting, stiff neck, and frequently a rash.

"Once it occurs, we have a more than a 15 percent mortality rate, or death rate on this.. We have to be very proactive when we go out and children are very susceptible to it."

Antibiotics can be used to treat the dies ease in the early stages, and they can also be used to guard against it in anyone that has come in direct contact with someone who is already sick for a prolonged period of time.

"The first thing is to go to your physician, because antibiotics are the first treatment for this, and it only takes a small amount of antibiotics to prevent it. There is vaccines now for young adults now who are going to college, it seems like it occurs in college dorms,, so some people actually get a vaccination for this."

Health officials say there is typically at least one confirmed case of meningitis in the area per year

"The general public shouldn't be alarmed, our EPI team worked into the night making sure everybody was contacted that came in immediate contact, so from that the general public should not be alarmed at this time. They just should be aware and be informed of the fact."

The Florida Department of Health urges everyone to be aware of the signs and symptoms of Meningitis.  If you develop any of them, see your family doctor immediately.