CHAPEL HILL: High school student dies from bacterial infection - WNCN: News, Weather

E. Chapel Hill HS student dies from bacterial infection

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -

A student at East Chapel Hill High School died Wednesday of a bacterial infection, the school system said.

School officials say a 14-year-old student died from what is presumed to be Meningococcal disease.

Meningococcal disease is a bacterial infection caused by the same bacteria that can cause Meningitis.

In a letter to parents, the school said the student may have been infectious at school Feb. 11, 12, 17 and 18.

"If a person is infected, symptoms usually start within three to four days of exposure but can take as long as 14 days to begin," the school said.

The Orange County Health Department said the boy presented the first symptoms on Tuesday.

School official say they do not know how the student contracted the infection. The Center for Disease Control says the infection can be passed directly through saliva as well as "prolonged general contact with an infected person."

The school said the spread of meningococcal disease in a classroom setting is rare.

Dr. Chris Ingram works with Raleigh Infectious Diseases off Lake Boone Trail. He said Wake County will see three or four cases a year.

Ingram said vaccines have brought down the number of infections greatly but outbreaks will occur in closely quartered people.

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro School System the principal plans to speak to students tomorrow morning about this and East Chapel Hill High School will have school nurses and counselors available for students on Thursday.

 

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