Meningitis feared at three schools

Pupils and teachers at three North West schools have been treated for possible meningitis, the provincial health department said on Friday.

“Outbreak response teams have been dispatched to curb the possible outbreak,” spokesman Tebogo Lekgethwane said in a statement.

He said 1200 pupils, 36 teachers and 10 catering staff members had been treated following a confirmed meningitis death at a local school.

“Twenty family members of the deceased child were also treated.”

He said two other children with suspected meningitis had died in the village in the past month.

“Six more learners were referred to hospital with signs of meningitis.”

Lekgethwane said the response team would work throughout the weekend.

“Meningitis is a disease caused by the inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord,” he said.

Lekgethwane said the inflammation was usually caused by an infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

Meningitis could develop in response to a number of causes, usually bacteria, viruses and fungal infections.

The severity of the illness and the treatment for meningitis differed, depending on the cause.

“Symptoms can appear in any order, but the first symptoms are usually fever, vomiting, sensitivity to light, a stiff neck, headaches and feeling unwell - just like many mild illnesses,” said Lekgethwane. - Sapa