4-year-old girl dies of suspected Meningococcemia in SorsogonBy Mar S. Arguelles
Inquirer Southern Luzon
LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines—A four-year-old girl suspected ill with meningococcemia died on Friday at the Bulan Municipal Hospital in Bulan, Sorsogon, 124 kilometers away from this city, a regional official of the Department of Health said.
The victim from Barangay Bical, Bulan was admitted to the hospital on Thursday for fever and rashes, Gloria Balboa, DOH Bicol regional director, said in a text message.
Balboa said the victim, who attending physicians suspected could have contracted meningococcemia, died Friday afternoon.
She said the girl’s fever, headache, vomiting, difficulty in breathing and bluish rashes were symptomatic of “meningo.”
But Balboa said the victim was still considered a meningo suspect as her blood samples will still undergo laboratory testing.
She said as a preventive measure the rural health unit in Bulan is doing contact tracing in the neighborhood visited by the victim and family members.
Balboa said the DOH Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (RESU) has fielded surveillance teams to conduct contact tracing of people the victim was in contact with.
She dismissed an earlier report personnel of the Bulan hospital had been quarantined after coming in contact with the patient. She said hospital staff “were given prophylaxis and not quarantined.”
Balboa said the patient was buried at 6 a.m. on Saturday at the town cemetery, with the town sanitary inspector supervising the burial.
As a standard practice, a person who dies of meningo should be buried within 24 hours to prevent spread of the disease.
Meningococcemia is an acute and potentially life-threatening infection of the bloodstream caused by bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis. The bacteria frequently live in a person’s upper respiratory tract without causing visible signs of illness and can be spread from person to person through respiratory droplets or are air borne.
Family members and those closely exposed to someone with the condition are at increased risk. Symptoms may include fever, rashes, headache, anxiety, irritability, muscle pain and nausea.