Meningococcemia bacteria
Meningococcemia bacteria

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines- The City government of Tacloban through the assistance of Department of Health regional office has conducted an investigation at one state university based in the city, shedding light on the recent death of a third year  college student suspected with  meningococcemia.

In an official statement from the city local health board released Thursday, the board said “it appears that despite having signs of weakness, rashes and other symptoms” the female student “did not have herself immediately checked.” The student died on August 5.

Six other students were also confined at Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center after showing similar symptoms of meningococcemia.

For those in close contact with the same they were given prophylactic antibiotic, the board added.

“The Surveillance unit from City of Tacloban and DOH will do a thorough contact tracing of people the victim was in contact pursuant to standard operating procedures.”

“The public is thereby advised not to panic because of the transmission of Meningoccemia is not the same as AH1N1 as alleged text messages that are currently circulating,” stressed the city health board.

The university has issued suspension of classes on Thursday “to give way for medical personnel to do necessary procedures and treatment,” also urging its personnel and students to observe proper precautionary measures.

To help prevent meningococcemia, DOH enjoined the public to do the following: observe proper handwashing; cover one’s mouth when sneezing or coughing; eat balanced diet; seek early consultation when having a fever, headache and other symptoms; limit alcohol intake; avoid smoking and overcrowded areas.

Meningococcemia is an acute and potentially life-threatening infection of the bloodstream caused by bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis.

The bacteria frequently live in a person’s upper respiratory tract without causing visible signs of illness and can be spread from person to person through respiratory droplets or are air borne.

DOH added that family members and those closely exposed to someone with the condition are at increased risk.

Its symptoms include fever, rashes, headache, anxiety, irritability, muscle pain and nausea.

Quoting a report from regional health authorities, the city health board said that as of August 8, 2013, there were 12 cases of meningococcemia reported in Eastern Visayas, but only one in Tacloban.