Stuyvesant student did not have meningitis

January 14, 2009 7:59:30 PM PST
Eyewitness News has learned there is not a second case of meningitis at a NY High School. The health department was investigating a possible second case of meningitis at Stuyvesant High School, but it turned out to just be a viral infection.

The student, who was not named, was being treated.

"He had a fever, and slight pain in the neck and he was immediately quarantined at Bellevue Hospital," said Tom Dromgoole, with the Teachers' Association.

Ava Hecht, a senior from Bayside, Queens, died last Thursday. Officials said her symptoms were consistent with bacterial meningitis, although an autopsy has not been completed.

The health department has been working to identify all individuals who had close contact with Hecht in the week before her illness to arrange preventive treatment. Close contacts are household family members and individuals with prolonged, face-to-face contact. Individuals with casual contact such as having a conversation, sitting in a classroom, a meeting or passing in a hallway are not at risk for disease.

Secondary cases in close contacts are rare and usually occur in the first week after exposure, according to the health department.

Symptoms of meningococcal disease include fever, chills, stiff neck, headache, rash, and nausea or vomiting. New York City has about 30-50 meningococcal cases each year. There is a meningococcal vaccine available for school children to prevent the disease. If you develop any of the above symptoms or would like more information about the vaccine, please contact your medical provider.

More information is available on the net at the Health Department or CDC websites. ----

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