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3rd Detroit Kid Dies of Meningitis

October 8, 2000

DETROIT (AP) _ Three Detroit-area children have died from bacterial meningitis in the past two weeks. Health officials say the cases were not related and don’t amount to an epidemic.

An 11-year-old boy from Eastpointe died Friday, said Mike Kairis, a spokesman for St. John Hospital in Detroit. The boy’s death followed that of an 11-year-old girl from St. Clair Shores on Thursday, and the death of a 6-year-old Dearborn boy Sept. 28.

The three children attended different schools.

Two Warren students who contracted meningitis last month have recovered. A hospital spokesman said a 9-year-old is still recovering from meningitis at St. John Hospital.

Bacterial meningitis causes swelling around the brain and spinal cord. It is considered more severe than viral meningitis and can result in brain damage, hearing loss or learning disability.

The bacteria is carried in nose and throat fluids and can be transmitted by coughing or sneezing directly in the face of others, kissing on the mouth or sharing eating utensils and drinking cups.

At any time, 10 to 15 percent of the population can carry the bacteria and not get ill, officials with the Michigan Department of Community Health said.

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On the Net:

Michigan Department of Community Health: http://www.mdch.state.mi.us/pha/epi/cded/cd/MENIGITIS.HTM

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/meningococcal_g.htm

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