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Officials unsure what boy died of

March 24, 1999

Officials from the Washington County Health Department remained unsure Wednesday whether a 5-year-old Hagerstown boy's death was caused by meningitis.

Travis Jenkins, of Rock Hill Road, was pronounced dead on arrival at Washington County Hospital on Saturday, according to Dr. Robert Parker, a county health officer.

Parker said that while initial tests came back negative for meningitis, further tests must be done.

The boy's father, Showalter Jenkins, had said he expected to be notified Wednesday of the outcome of those tests.

Parker said he didn't know how long it would take to determine the cause of death.

Meningitis, caused by meningococcus bacteria, is an inflammation of tissue lining of the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms include fever, nausea, vomiting, skin rash, severe headaches and neck pain.

About 4 percent of people exposed to the bacteria develop symptoms and about 10 percent of those who develop symptoms die, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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