Meningitis: A Summer Danger

Representing Orlando, Tampa, Miami and Nearby Areas of Florida

A fourth grade student at a Brevard County school recently died from bacterial meningitis. This unfortunate incident raises concerns about how the child contracted the deadly infection and whether other children are at risk.

CGWC attorney Ronald S. Gilbert warns all parents to take signs of infection very seriously this time of year. Bacterial meningitis requires immediate antibiotics for survival. Before the bacteria makes its way to the spinal fluid, it is in the blood, where it is treatable. Bacterial meningitis is not contracted easily and is most commonly spread through sharing saliva, whether from sharing a drink or mouth to mouth contact.

While it is often impossible to ever know for sure how the disease is contracted, the signs and symptoms of the infection are certainly present several hours before the bacteria invades the spinal fluid. Successful treatment requires immediate care before the bacteria reaches the brain where it causes swelling. Bacterial meningitis usually has an incubation period of 7 to 14 days.

Symptoms of bacterial meningitis include fever, nausea, headache, back or neck pain, weakness and a rash that looks like bruising. See Kids Health for more information.