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Assurances as school records infection case

Reporter: Ken Bennett
Date online: 22 June 2017

A HEAD teacher has recorded a case of meningococcal disease at a secondary school.

A note to all parents and carers was issued by Matthew Milburn (pictured), head teacher of Saddleworth School on High Street, Uppermill.

He said: "We have been advised by Public Health England that a child who attends this school has recently been reported as having meningococcal disease.

"This is an infection with the germ that can cause meningitis or septicaemia (blood poisoning).

"I realise that you may be concerned about this, but I have been reassured by Public Health England that when there is a single case of illness in a school, other children and staff at the school are at no greater risk of getting meningitis than the rest of the population and they do not need antibiotics or any vaccination (outside of those routinely given).

The letter added: "If your child is well they should attend school as usual.

"The germ that causes meningococcal disease is often found in our throats.

"It causes no symptoms at all in most people, but a few people become ill when they pick up the germ."

The letter flags up symptoms of meningitis or septicaemia may include: Severe headache, neck stiffness, fever, vomiting, drowsiness or confusion, discomfort from bright light, limb joint or muscle pain, rash which does not go pale when pressed.

And Mr Milburn added: "It is important that you are always vigilant, and if anyone becomes ill with symptoms of meningitis or septicaemia you should get urgent medical help right away."

More information about meningitis and meningococcal disease is available from The Meningitis Research Foundation, www.meningitis.org, 0808 800 3344 (24 hours) or Meningitis Now, www.meningitisnow.org, 0808 801 0388 (9am and 8pm).


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