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10 December 2013, 10:05
Parents are being told the risk of more cases of meningitis is low - after a child died from it at one of our schools
Public Health England can't confirm exact details of the case involving a child with bacterial meningitis from Berkshire last week.
People in contact with the victims have already been identified and offered antibiotics as a precaution and letters have been sent to parents of children attending the school reassuring them that the risk of further cases is extremely low.
Meningococcal bacteria are carried in the back of the throat of about one in ten people at any one time, but only very rarely cause illness. Most people who carry the bacteria become immune to them. The bacteria do not spread easily and those who have had prolonged, close contact with the person with meningitis/septicaemia are at a slightly greater risk of getting ill.
Signs and symptoms include:
Dislike of bright light
Cold hands and feet
Not all of these signs and symptoms may show at once, but someone with this illness will become very ill. The illness may progress over one or two days but it can develop very rapidly, sometimes in a matter of hours. Diagnosis in the early stages can sometimes be difficult. The early signs can be similar to bad flu symptoms but be watchful and use your instincts. If someone becomes ill with some of these signs or symptoms, contact the doctor urgently and ask for advice.