County health officials are urging parents to be current in their children’s vaccinations after a dangerous and contagious infection was detected in a kindergarten student at .
The student is suspected of having an infection with meningococcal bacteria, according to the county Health and Human Services Agency. No other students have shown symptoms of the disease and officials are not recommending preventive antibiotics.
The student’s last day in school was Jan. 30, and the range of time between exposure and the onset of symptoms is two to 10 days, according to the HHSA. While the 10-day range has passed, officials recommend that children get the vaccine that can prevent meningococcal disease.
“Meningococcal disease is spread through close contact with the ill person. Based on this student’s attendance dates, there is an extremely low risk of infections for anyone at the school,” said Wilma Wooten, county public health officer, in a release. “Parents should, however, be alert for any signs of infection and meningitis in their children caused by the meningococcal bacteria.”
Symptoms may include fever, intense headache, stiff neck and a rash that does not blanch under pressure, according to the HHSA.
The vaccine that can prevent certain strains of meningococcal disease is recommended for high-risk children and routinely for adolescents 11 to 18 years old. To find out more information about this vaccine-preventable disease, visit www.sdiz.org.