GOOCHLAND, VA (WWBT) - Health officials are investigating a possible case of meningitis in Central Virginia after the death of another young person last week.
The child died quickly after showing signs of meningitis symptoms, but further testing is underway to determine the exact cause of the illness, according to Chesterfield Health Director Dr. Parham Jebari.
Officials also confirmed a viral meningitis case in another child. Viral meningitis is usually more mild and not as deadly as bacterial meningitis, and the child has been treated and released to family members.
Officials cannot say where the children got sick, but both crossed paths at a facility in Goochland, which serves at-risk youth and their families. NBC12 did speak to an administrator here at the Hallmark Youth Care Facility. He referred everything back to the health department but he did say health officials are satisfied with how the facility's administration handled the situation. As a precaution, families of the other children who came in contact with these children at the Goochland facility have been told about the cases and are taking preventative antibiotics.
"It's not an everyday occurrence or an every month occurrence... we get a few cases," says Dr. Jebari. "I think that would be accurate to say, in every county and every jurisdiction, so this is not out of the norm, but we take it very seriously considering the potential consequences."
These cases come less than two weeks after a four year old New Kent boy died from bacterial meningitis. Doctors say washing your hands is an easy way to prevent spread of the infection, they also recommend vaccinations when a child is old enough.
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