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We have heard that a pupil from Our Lady and St Patrick primary school in Downpatrick has contracted meningitis and another pupil is being treated for suspected meningitis. A third child, from St Patrick's primary school in Legamaddy, near Downpatrick is also being treated for suspeceted meningitis.
We are thinking about the children and their family at this difficult time.
We are urging everyone in the area to be aware of the signs and symptoms of the disease, as it can strike in minutes and kill within hours. If you know of anyone who is concerned about their own, or someone else’s health, please could you make sure that they seek medical attention immediately.
Meningitis can start with ‘flu like’ symptoms. Those to look out for are; fever, headache, vomiting and muscle pain. Other symptoms can include fever with cold hands and feet, drowsiness, confusion, pale blotchy skin, stiff neck, dislike of bright lights and seizures. In babies, symptoms can include being floppy and unresponsive, dislike of being handled, rapid breathing, moaning cry and a bulging fontanelle (soft spot on the top of the head).
Although it’s rare to have connected contacted cases we are urging people to remain vigilant.
If anyone requires information on signs and symptoms or how we can support those who contract the disease, friends and family please don’t hesitate to contact our freephone 24-hour nurse-led helpline on 0808 80 10 388. Or you can contact our Northern Ireland Community Services Nurse, Judith Cuthbert, 0845 120 4680.
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