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Ministry of Health and Wellness monitoring child diagnosed with bacterial meningitis; works with Education Ministry to ensure infectious control guidelines are followed

Posted: Thursday, December 7, 2023. 2:40 pm CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: The Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW) has confirmed that a child has been diagnosed with bacterial meningitis.

The child resides in Belmopan and attends United Evergreen Primary School.

The child became symptomatic on November 30 and became progressively unwell on December 3.

The child was found to have symptoms of meningitis and this was confirmed by clinical and laboratory tests.

The preliminary results show that the child has pneumococcal meningitis, where the causative organism is streptococcus pneumonia.

The Ministry notes that this is a bacterium that exists in nasal passages and may or may not cause disease. It is an organism that can cause a wide array of infections like pneumonia and meningitis.

The Ministry is also aware of another child with clinical symptoms of meningitis who was taken to the Western Regional Hospital.

This child also resides in Belmopan and attends St. Ann’s Anglican Primary School.

The Ministry noted that laboratory tests have been conducted, and the results are awaited to confirm this diagnosis.

The Ministry says it is working with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology (MoECST) and respective schools to ensure that all infectious control guidelines and practices are being taken.

Families and friends are also participating in surveillance interviews to determine whether other persons are exhibiting symptoms.

It is important to note that guidelines for the management of pneumococcal meningitis state that routine prophylactic management is not recommended; however, the country should make the final decision on prophylaxis depending on various factors, including the detection of cluster cases.

The Ministry urged that Infection, prevention, and control procedures should be taken in the affected classrooms. Hand washing techniques and other infection control procedures should be increased.

“Students of the affected classes should remain home until sanitization is completed. Classmates and children in the schools should be observed for any signs of fever, headache, or vomiting. Medical care should be sought immediately if any close contacts have any concerning symptoms. Sick persons should stay at home, observe proper hand-washing techniques and use face masks,” the Ministry urged.

Investigations continue by public health teams and the Ministry will inform of any changes.

“The MOHW and MoECST affirm that the priority is for the well-being of the children and their contacts. Both ministries are working together to ensure that there is effective communication between teachers and parents and that infection, prevention and control procedures are in place,” a statement expressed.


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