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Indication of meningococcal infection: child died in North Rhine-Westphalia
In Emmerich, North Rhine-Westphalia, a small child died on Monday after an infectious disease. According to the authorities, the pathogen has not yet been clearly diagnosed, but it was probably a meningococcal infection. There is a possibility that other people may have contracted the dangerous bacteria.
Child of a daycare center died of an infectious disease
At the weekend, a child from the Arche Noah day care center in Emmerich am Rhein (North Rhine-Westphalia) is seriously and acutely ill with an infectious disease. "Even if the pathogen has not yet been clearly diagnosed, there is evidence of a possible meningococcal disease," the Kleve district administration reported in a message on Monday. According to media reports, the child died in a Klever hospital on Monday afternoon.
Other people may have been infected
According to the district administration, the child visited the daycare center until last Friday and may have been infectious to other children there.
According to the information, the district administration's health affairs department planned to contact all parents and employees of the daycare center yesterday.
All parents are advised to see a pediatrician or general practitioner and have their children have preventative treatment against a possible meningococcal infection.
"This treatment consists of the administration of the antibiotic rifampicin in a dosage of 10 mg rifampicin per kilogram of body weight, twice a day for two days," writes the authority.
Bacteria are usually transmitted by droplet infection
Meningococci are bacteria that settle in the nasopharynx of humans and, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), can be detected there in about ten percent of the population without any clinical symptoms.
They are most commonly transmitted by droplet infection. When talking, coughing or sneezing, the bacteria escape into the air in small droplets from the nasopharynx and can be inhaled from a short distance.
The pathogens can lead, among other things, to bacterial meningitis (meningitis). This is rare, but dangerous.
Immediate treatment needed
According to the Kleve district administration, the start of treatment is crucial for the outcome of a possible illness. Therefore, meningococcal disease requires immediate antibiotic treatment.
People who were in close contact with a sick person in the ten days before the onset of the disease are at risk of infection.
Therefore, preventive antibiotic therapy for children and employees of the affected day care center is absolutely necessary.
"Infectiousness is no longer expected 24 hours after the start of antibiotic therapy," said the experts.
Disease often begins with cold symptoms
As the agency explains, meningococcal meningitis is often preceded by acute cold symptoms.
Without a transition, headaches can suddenly occur, which quickly get worse.
In most cases there is a high fever, nausea and vomiting as well as stiff neck. The latter is a very typical symptom.
The patient also reacts with sensitivity to light, and the affected person's consciousness may become cloudy and he is no longer accessible.
"Red-purple skin spots signal a difficult course in which the pathogens spread through the bloodstream," warns the district administration.
The symptoms do not necessarily have to be present at the same time, but can develop within hours or days. Such infections can be fatal. This is also why the fastest possible start of treatment is so important. (ad)