By Steve Beck
COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. (CBS) — A young student at an elementary school in Montgomery County has been diagnosed with a meningococcal invasive infection.
According to officials, the 3rd grader attends Skippack Elementary School on Heckler Road in Collegeville.
After learning of the diagnosis, the principal at Skippack Elementary sent out a letter to parents to notify them.
School staff, as well as officials with the county’s health department, are working to identify close social contacts of the infected student.
The health department is directing those who think they may have had close contact with the student to receive a prophylactic antibiotic.
Parents may contact the health department at 610-278-5117 or call their health care provider for more information.
Schools officials said while classrooms and bathrooms are cleaned every night by the school’s custodial staff, additional steps will be taken Wednesday to thoroughly disinfect the building. Extra staff is being added to clean building surfaces (desks, chairs, door handles, water fountains, etc.). Nurses at the school will also monitor student for potential symptoms.
According to the health department, bacteria that causes meningococcal infections is spread by being in close contact with an infected individual’s nose and throat secretions (for example, through kissing or sharing toothbrushes, eating utensils or drinks). Bacteria cannot live long outside of the body and should not be considered airborne or waterborne.
The symptoms of a meningococcal disease include flu-like symptoms and a stiff neck.