Meningitis warning issued in city

April 07, 1993|By Roger Twigg | Roger Twigg,Staff Writer

An autopsy was being performed today on a Baltimore elementary school student who died early yesterday, possibly of meningitis.

Meanwhile, city health officials asked families of all the boy's classmates to bring their children to his school -- Yorkwood Elementary in Northeast Baltimore -- for treatment with antibiotic medication.

Deborah A. Ross, a city Health Department spokeswoman, said that there were no plans to call others, but that anyone concerned about having had contact with the boy should call the department's School and Adolescent Health Services, 396-4452.

The family of Dont'e Brown, 6, a first-grader, said that the boy was lethargic and had a rash and flu symptoms when they took him to St. Joseph Hospital, and that he died there a short time later.

Meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. It can cause neurological problems, deafness, brain damage or death.

The disease, caused by bacteria or a virus, is spread by close contact with the infected person, typically through sneezing or coughing, Ms. Ross said.

The illness is rare. A confirmed case occurred last September at Holabird Elementary School in Baltimore. A student at the University of Maryland-College Park died of the disease last April.

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