DOH: Meningococcemia not highly contagious

Posted at Jan 29 2013 12:24 PM | Updated as of Jan 29 2013 08:25 PM

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MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Health on Tuesday assured neighbors of a meningococcemia fatality that there is no possibility of an outbreak, saying the bacterial disease is not highly contagious.

Dr. Eric Tayag explained that meningococcemia can only be obtained by having close contact with the patient. People with weak immune systems are also highly susceptible to the disease.

The patient, a 4-year-old boy from Rizal, died at the Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center in Marikina at around 10 p.m. on Monday, roughly three hours after doctors confirmed that he contracted meningococcemia.

The meningococcemia victim had suffered from influenza for about four days before he was brought to the hospital on Monday afternoon.

The hospital management had to thoroughly clean the hospital for at least 6 hours as a precautionary measure. Tayag, however, noted that this is not necessary since meningococcal bacteria only thrive in a person's throat.

- Umagang Kay Ganda, 29 January 2013