Letter from Superintendent
Deering Menigitis Case
Posted on 12/08/2017
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Dear Parent: 

A student at Deering High School was recently diagnosed with bacterial meningitis. This type of meningitis, also known as meningococcal disease is caused by a bacteria named Neisseria meningitides and can be very serious. 

Neisseria meningitides can be spread from one person to another through saliva or spit; it is not spread through the air, on surfaces, or in the stool or urine. It is not as contagious as germs that cause the common cold or the flu. People do not catch Neisseria meningitidis through casual contact or by breathing air where someone with meningococcal disease has been.

It is highly unusual to see more than one case of illness from this infection at one time. Teachers or children who share the same classroom or ride the same school bus with the ill student are not at high risk of becoming ill and therefore are not recommended vaccine or medication. 

Students at Deering High School should be aware and monitor for symptoms of Neisseria meningitides (Fever, headache, stiff neck, rash) and speak with their physician if they experience these symptoms during the next several weeks. 

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (MECDC) is working closely with the child’s family and with area doctors to ensure that the very small number of persons who may be at higher risk receive appropriate evaluation. These students will be contacted directly. If you have special questions or concerns, you can contact your child’s physician, the MECDC at 1-800-821-5821 or your school Nurse, Debra Tanguay RN at 874-8260.

This note is being sent home simply to keep you informed and to provide factual information in a setting in which rumors are common and anxiety may be high. A Fact Sheet on this infection is attached. Health information included in this letter was provided by the ME CDC. Thank you.

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