Potch pupil dies from bacterial meningitis

2012-08-29 10:07

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Johannesburg - A pupil at Potchefstroom Gymnasium died in hospital on Monday within a week of contracting a contagious meningococcal meningitis infection, Beeld reported on Wednesday.

Simone Swanepoel, 15, had complained of feeling unwell in the week leading up to her death.

According to her mother, Sonet Swanepoel, Simone had suffered from pains in her stomach and bones, and was finally admitted to the intensive care unit of the Mooimed Hospital when she took a turn for the worse and developed red blotches on her face and body.

"It was too much for her body... she was bleeding internally and her organs collapsed," she said.

Karin van Reenen, the manager of the Mooimed Hospital, said a lumbar puncture had confirmed the diagnosis.

"We notified the health department, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) and the school at once," Van Reenen said.

As a precautionary measure, antibiotics have been dispensed to all pupils at the school, as well as hospital personnel who came into contact with Simone.

According to the NICD's Dr Lucille Blumberg, meningococcal microbes are not airborne, but are usually transmitted through contact with bodily fluids.

Symptoms can include a headache, a rash, stiffness of the neck, vomiting and a fever.

Read more on:    nicd  |  mahikeng  |  health

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