Baltimore inmate dies of meningitis

March 02, 2001|By Laura Barnhardt | Laura Barnhardt,SUN STAFF

A 28-year-old inmate at the Metropolitan Transition Center in Baltimore died Wednesday of bacterial meningitis, a form of the disease that state officials said yesterday does not present a health risk to prisoners or staff members.

Officials identified the inmate as Tracey Shropshire, whose most recent address was in the 1700 block of N. Castle St. He was serving a 4 1/2 -year sentence for drug violations, court records show.

Doctors at the prison, formerly the Maryland Penitentiary, determined that Shropshire died of streptococcal meningitis, which does not require antibiotic treatments for those who had contact with him, said David B. Towers, a Division of Correction spokesman.

Streptococcal meningitis is not as contagious as other types of bacterial meningitis, health officials said.

"It doesn't cause the outbreaks that the others can cause," said David Blythe, a medical epidemiologist with the state Health Department.

Health department officials said it is not necessary for an institution to issue warnings about the disease if there is no risk to public health.

Towers said it was unclear how Shropshire contracted meningitis.

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