MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) – A boy from Rizal died of meningococcemia at the Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center in Marikina on Monday evening, doctors confirmed.
The patient, a 4-year-old boy, died at around 10 p.m., roughly three hours after doctors confirmed that he contracted meningococcemia.
Dr. Paraluman Mendoza Manuel, ARMMC's senior resident pediatrician, said the meningococcemia victim had suffered from influenza for about four days before he was brought to the hospital on Monday afternoon.
"May 3 to 5 minutes of seizure siya at based on examination, may kombulsyon siya at mataas ang lagnat…Unusual sa bata na may kombulsyon at may pasa sa kamay. When we did a diagnostic test from the lesions, we found out it is meningo," Manuel said.
Hospital management had to thoroughly clean the facility for at least 6 hours as a precautionary measure and temporarily turned its lobby into an emergency room to accommodate other patients.
All of those who came in close contact with the patient were also given prophylaxis.
The patient's family, meanwhile, is considering of having the remains of the boy cremated.
DOH: Don't panic
Health Assistant Secretary Dr. Eric Tayag said the patient's neighbors should not fear of a possible outbreak in their area since meningococcemia does not spread easily.
"Ang meningo ay 'di madaling makahawa kaya kailangan nating ipaliwanag ito. Baka mamaya magkaroon ng panic eh kawawa naman ang namatayan. Paulit-ulit naming pinaliliwanag na kapag namatay ang isang tao, pati ang bacteria ay namamatay na rin po," Tayag told dzMM.
Tayag also said that there is nothing wrong with doing a thorough clean-up of the hospital. He, however, noted that it is not necessary since meningococcal bacteria only thrive in a person's throat.
"Sa lalamunan iyan. Iyun naman siguro ay karagdagang measure na lang. Wala namang masama doon. Subalit kung titignan natin, hindi sa ganoong paraan tayo maaring makahawa," he said.
Tayag said someone showing symptoms such as rashes, bruises and stiff neck must be immediately brought to the hospital.
"Marami nang nakakaligtas dyan. Ang kadalasang nakikita namin, nag-iintay pa sila ng maraming oras bago dalhin sa ospital eh kitang-kita na nila na 'di na ordinaryo iyon. Kapag nakita niyo ang pantal na mabilis dumami, kailangan dalhin niyo na sa ospital. Hindi normal lalabas ang mga pasa-pasa," he said. – with a report from Jacque Manabat, ABS-CBN News