Corvallis HS student diagnosed with meningococcal disease - KPTV - FOX 12

Corvallis HS student diagnosed with meningococcal disease

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CORVALLIS, OR (KPTV) -

A Corvallis High School student has been diagnosed with meningococcal disease, and is receiving treatment at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center.

Students were sent home Wednesday with a letter to their parents explaining the situation, and urging them to take "reasonable precautions."

While that letter tells parents not to be alarmed, news of the potentially deadly bacterium does weigh heavily on their minds.

"You always want to be careful about things like that. I mean, it's a dangerous disease. People die from it," said Eric Vanravenswaay, whose son is a student at CHS.

Symptoms of meningococcal disease are similar to the flu, and include vomiting, fatigue, chills, aches and pains, and in later stages, a dark purple rash, according to the Centers for Disease Control.  The illness is spread through close contact, such as an infected person coughing on someone, or sharing a drink.

Dr. Bill Muth, an infectious disease specialist at Samaritan Regional Medical Center, said meningococcal disease is rare and does not spread easily, but acknowledged the infection can be deadly, and can lead to death quickly.

"I see lots of different infections, and this is the one that's one of the more dramatic ones I see in terms of how quickly and profoundly ill someone infected with this bacterium can be," said Muth.

Treatment typically involves a stay in intensive care, and antibiotics, said Muth.

The Benton County Health Department is contacting those who it believes may have had contact with the infected student, and suggests anyone who experiences symptoms and believes they've been in contact with that student seek medical attention.

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