San Jose student possibly infected with meningitis

The Associated Press
Saturday May 12, 2001

SAN JOSE— A San Jose middle school student is hospitalized after being diagnosed with what doctors say is probably meningococcal meningitis. 

The seventh grade boy is a student at Castillero Middle School. A letter was sent home with students Thursday afternoon informing parents of the situation – and Thursday night, Santa Clara County Health Department officials were at the school to answer parents’ questions. 

“The good news about meningococcal meningitis is that it’s not that easy to transmit,” said Dr. Sara Cody, a health department official. She told parents that the disease is only spread through contact with an infected person’s saliva or mucous. 

Health officials said there is no evidence of transmission at the middle school at this time and reassured parents that the risk to the general student population is very low.  

They urged parents not to panic and promised that this latest case is under control and not likely to affect other students. 

The infected student is on a course of antibiotics and is said to be doing well. His family and students who may have come in contact with him are also being treated with antibiotics as a precaution, officials say. 

Concerns about the disease have been heightened in recent weeks following the meningitis deaths of Michael Gordon, a Livermore high school student, and Nandi Phelps, a Berkeley elementary student. 

Symptoms of the disease include sever headache, fever and stiff neck.