Boston Latin Academy student with meningitis not doing well
UPDATE: Channel 4 reports the girl has died.
A 12-year-old Boston Latin Academy student is "very, very, seriously, critically ill" with bacterial meningitis, but poses no risk to most other students, a city public-health official says.
A school nurse recognized symptoms of the potentially fatal disease when the seventh grader came into her office Friday not feeling well and had her rushed to a local hospital, Dr. Anita Barry, director of infection control at the Boston Public Health Commission said this morning.
Barry said officials have identified "less than 50" students who may have had close enough contact with the girl to warrant concern - they spent an hour or more within three to six feet. Their parents were urged to get them a preventive dose of antibiotics, she said.
Barry said bacterial meningitis rates in Boston have plummeted with the widespread use of a vaccine. However, she said the vaccine does not work against one strain and that she does not know if the student had been vaccinated.
Infection with the bacteria can result in swelling of the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms can include headache, tiredness, dizziness, a stiff neck, a rash and aversion to light.