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Meningitis Case &Quot;Isolated&Quot;

PERRYDALE -- The Perrydale 15-year-old student diagnosed with bacterial meningococcal disease on Feb. 21 is recovering nicely, according to Perrydale staff. He may return to school part-time this week.

The boy stayed home from school on Feb. 20 and 21, and his family thought he had the flu. They took him to their family physician, who sent him into Salem for tests.

They showed he had the potentially fatal infection.

Ken Baker at Polk County Public Health stressed that this was an isolated case and that the incubation period was expired.

"There are no other (Polk County) cases. This was one, isolated case. I wouldn't anticipate any outbreaks related to this case.

"It is unknown where it was picked up," Baker added.

Perrydale School acted quickly, sending fliers home to parents and contacted the parents of absent students. The fliers said that there was a sick student, and that other families should have their children tested. About 20 students were treated with antibiotics to ensure that they wouldn't become ill. No other cases were found.

Bacterial meningococcal creates severe flu-like symptoms in its victims. If it goes untreated it can be deadly. It is passed through body fluids -- saliva from coughing, or sneezing.

For more information: National Meningitis Association at www.nmaus.org, or Polk County Public Health at www.co.polk.or.us

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