Potch pupil dies from bacterial meningitis

2012-08-29 10:07

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.

  • Kirsten Jeanette Olivier - 2012-08-29 10:11

    shame man! rest in peace and deepest condolences to family and friends

      attie.mostert.9 - 2012-08-29 12:01

      Really, why would anyone get thumbs down on any articles related to something like this. Do these ppl not have emotions? RIP!!!!!!!!!!

  • Eterni80 - 2012-08-29 10:32

    Not good, something like this can turn a fire into an inferno. RIP little lady !

  • shelley.vorster.9 - 2012-08-29 10:33

    ag no man!!!! This is sad as well as rather shocking. We always ignore the small things like a simple headache. RIP poor girl .

  • stampalex - 2012-08-29 10:54

    Oh such a shame - heartfelt condolences to all her family and friends. A terrible tragedy. RIP sweet one...

  • stefan.kruger.1297 - 2012-08-29 11:24

    Poor girl... may she rest in peace...

  • addie.msibi - 2012-08-29 12:04

    Deepest condolences to family and friends. Iwas diagnosed with meningitis last year, I am now on treatment, which I was told I will use for the rest of my life. I am appealing to the government, doctors, researchers, whom ever that can assist in coming up with a cure. This is a very painful disease and doing a lumbar puncture is even worse that giving birth, by the way I'm a 36 year old female, even though I'm on treatment, it does come back and I need to run to a doctor for antibiotics to boost the treatment. So, please people do not ignore the signs and do not wait until it's too late.

  • reinhardt.uitenweerde - 2012-08-31 14:55

    I remember my sister calling me crying on Monday because I reckon as a mother she "felt the pain". Sonet is my cousin and for everyone of us it came as a shock to hear the tragic news on Monday. I feel terrible for her and her husband as it was their only child and although I haven't been in close contact for many years I've been thinking of her and her husband constantly this past week. It only again makes a person realise how precious life is and the people we share it with. I'm heartbroken for their loss and know that nothing said can really make it even the slightest better. I always knew Meningitis was a kind of illness but never knew how deadly it could be. I truly hope the Department of health will do a little bit more to make people aware of it so that nobody else go through the same heartache.

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