Oregon 2nd-grader diagnosed with meningococcal meningitis

LEBANON, Ore. (AP) — A health official says a Lebanon second-grader has been diagnosed with meningococcal meningitis.

The Democrat-Herald reported Thursday that Linn County Health Officer Dr. William Muth said the student attends Green Acres Elementary School.

Muth said that the Public Health Department is working with school officials to identify students and staff who had close contact with the student Jan. 9-12.

Muth sent a letter to parents saying meningococcal disease is not highly contagious, but close contacts should get antibiotics to prevent disease.

The disease is caused by a bacterium that lives in the noses and throat. It causes serious disease only if it enters the blood stream and spreads throughout the body.

The disease can be deadly and kills about 10 of every 100 persons infected.