Bacterial meningitis kills Killeen elementary student


KILLEEN, Texas (KXAN) — Students at an elementary school in Killeen are mourning the loss of a classmate. The second-grade student died from a case of bacterial meningitis Thursday, according to a release from the school district.

Representatives with Killeen ISD say the child attended Saegert Elementary School. They have also confirmed the school is safe and no other cases have been reported. The district is providing counseling services to the students, and classes are scheduled to continue.

“The Killeen Independent School District and Saegert Elementary School are continuously working proactively to ensure the safety of our students and staff,” said KISD Superintendent John Craft in a letter to parents and staff. “The district has worked and will continue to work with the Bell County Public Health Department and they have advised the district to notify parents of potential symptoms to look for and when to seek medical treatment.”

Bacterial meningitis is an infection spread through coughing, kissing or sharing anything by mouth. However, most people who are infected recover. Common symptoms include fever, rash, headaches, vomiting and chills.

The health department reported the confirmed case in the area is a type of bacterial meningitis that is less likely to spread, known as pneumococcal meningitis. The student was originally believed to have meningococcal meningitis, which is a more viral strain.

There are several types of meningitis. The germs that cause bacterial meningitis can spread from person to person, but there are vaccines that can help protect against some kinds of bacterial meningitis. According to the Center for Disease Control, there were around 4,100 cases and 500 deaths due to bacterial meningitis a year from 2003 to 2007.

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