PARENTS have been advised there is no cause for alarm after a probable case of meningitis has been diagnosed at a Uttoxeter school.
Tynsel Parkes First School, in School Road, has confirmed, in a letter sent out to all parents, that they have been made aware of a probable case of meningococcal disease in someone who attends the school.
The disease is the most common cause of bacterial meningitis in the UK and can lead to septicaemia.
The letter from head teacher Theresa Walters states: “The Health Protection Agency has advised me that there is no cause for alarm and that there is no reason why your child should not continue to attend school as normal.
“We have been reassured that the disease is rare. Although we appreciate that it is worrying to hear that you or your child may have been in contact with a case, it is important to remember that we are all in contact with people carrying this bacteria on a regular basis (the bacterium is normally carried harmlessly by at least one in 10 of us).” Preventative antibiotics are sometimes given to very close contacts of a meningitis or septicaemia patient, such as those living in the same household.
The letter states The Health Protection Agency has been in contact with the small number of people to which this applies.
It adds: “However, they are not necessary for other casual contacts such as friends, staff and pupils. Indeed, giving antibiotics in this situation may do more harm than good by killing beneficial protective bacteria in the throat.” Uttoxeter residents are being reminded of the symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia, if in the unlikely event a child becomes ill.
These symptoms are very bad headaches, neck stiffness, aversion to light, vomiting or feeling sick, a rash of purple or red spots which does not fade when pressed with a glass and generally feeling unwell.
More information on meningitis is available by phoning 080 8800 3344 or visiting www.meningitis.com or from NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 or www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk Anyone with concerns relating to the Tynsel Parkes case is asked to speak to a member of the Health Protection Agency team on 01785 221126.