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Meningitis case confirmed in Berkeley Co.

August 06, 2007

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The Berkeley County Health Department has been notified of a confirmed case of meningococcal meningitis in the county.

An unidentified county resident has been confirmed as having the meningitis, also known as bacterial meningitis, Dr. Diana Gaviria said in a news release.

The family and household members of the person have received appropriate treatment and coworkers are being contacted to determine if they are at risk for infection, according to the news release issued Sunday.

Meningococcal meningitis is an infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. People with it might have fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, stiff neck and a rash.

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The bacteria is spread by direct contact with secretions from the nose and throat such as sharing utensils or drinks, kissing on the mouth, sharing a cigarette or lipstick, toys and musical instruments with mouthpieces, or through mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

People can prevent the spread of bacteria by frequent handwashing, covering the mouth when sneezing or coughing and avoiding sharing utensils and other items.

For more information, call the Berkeley County Health Department at 304-263-5131, or visit the state health department's Web site at www.wvdhhr.org.

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