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Alert after young girl dies from meningitis; Second child struck by fatal disease critically ill.

Byline: ELAINE KEOGH

DOCTORS are urging parents to be vigilant for signs of meningitis after the death of a young girl.

It has also emerged another child is in a critical condition in hospital after being struck down with the deadly condition. Both are understood to be under 13 years and from Co Meath.

Sources confirmed the death in the last 48 hours and said there has been an appropriate HSE response.

Public health staff are liaising with a primary school and the extended family while antibiotics have been issued where needed.

Medics are asking parents whose children have shown symptoms of the disease to seek medical advice.

Dr John O'Brien, vice-president of the Irish College of General Practitioners, said: "Any death from meningitis is a tragedy for the family and community involved.

"Our advice to parents and families in the area is to look out for symptoms such as high fever, lethargy or a rash in their child.

"If your child has even minor symptoms, or if they are a cause of concern, go to your GP for advice.

Any death from the "However, if your child has no symptoms, please don't come to your GP for a check-up. The chances of other children who came in contact with a child with meningitis being infected is very low."

Medical experts said meningococcal infection often has a sudden onset and that while most peopleDR JOHN O'BRIEN yesterday recover it can be fatal.

They added the disease occurs most commonly in winter and spring and young children and adolescents are most at risk but it can occur in any age group.

The HSE advised people to contact their doctor immediately if they suspect they or their child has symptoms or signs.

These include high temperature, headache, stomach, joint or muscle pain, nausea or vomiting, irritability, drowsiness/impaired consciousness, pinpoint or blotchy purple rash which does not fade when pressed, stiff neck and dislike of bright light.

In the case of babies, they may have tense or bulging fontanelle (soft spot on top of head), blotching or pale skin, may refuse to feed and display fretfulness, a shrill cry or stiffness and jerkiness or floppy body.

Thankfully the disease is not spread easily and close and prolonged contact is usually required for the bacteria to spread from person to person.

news@irishmirror.ie

Any death from the disease is a tragedy for the family & community DR JOHN O'BRIEN yesterday

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INFECTION Meningitis leaves rash on skin

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 10, 2018
Words:415
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