Microsoft word - meningitis letter_to_parents_17_dec-1.doc
Health Protection Unit
Manchester M30 0NJ Tel +44 (0)161 786 6710 Fax +44 (0)161 707 9686 www.hpa-nw.org.uk www.hpa.org.uk
Dear Parent or Guardian
I am writing on behalf of the school and The Health Authority to inform you that two children
from The Kingsway High School have been admitted to hospital with meningococcal infection.
This is the germ which can cause meningitis or septicaemia.
One of the cases has been confirmed as having meningococcal infection (Group B), and we are
currently awaiting laboratory results to identify whether it is likely that these two cases are
linked. If a link is identified then in accordance with national expert guidance I would
recommend that all children and staff at the school have a dose of an antibiotic called
If required, it is important that these antibiotics are given promptly and depending on the results
we have organised with the school and Stockport Primary Care Trust to issue antibiotics on
Tuesday 18th December 2007 at the school from 11 am onwards. I enclose some information about ciprofloxacin. If there is any reason that your child
should not have ciprofloxacin, please telephone the school before 11 am on Tuesday 18th
There is no reason to make any change in the school routine and no reason for children to be
kept at home. Brothers, sisters, parents and immediate family of those children who attend the
school do not
need antibiotics, unless they themselves attend or work in the school.
The meningococcal bacteria can cause either septicaemia or meningitis. Although your child will
be given a dose of antibiotics it is still very important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of
this illness. If any combination of the following signs and symptoms develop you should
seek medical help straight away.
• Severe headache - fever - drowsiness or confusion - Neck stiffness
• vomiting - discomfort from bright lightsSepticaemia
• Fever - vomiting – diarrhoea - extreme tiredness - rash that does not fade when you
press on it with a finger or a glass tumbler – rapid breathing – cold hands and feet – joint or muscle pain
Not all of these signs and symptoms may show at once.
You may find the following 24 hour helplines useful if you require any general information on meningococcal infection: Stockport Public Health (Nurse on call) 0161 483 1010 The Meningitis Research Foundation www.meningitis.org 0808 800 3344 (24hr Helpline) The Meningitis Trust
Dr Lorraine Lesley Lighton MA, FFPHM
Consultant in Communicable Disease Control
GMC No 2490818
The antibiotic you will be given is called Ciprofloxacin. The meningococcal germs that cause meningitis and septicemia can be
carried in the nose and throat, this antibiotic will kill them.
It comes in tablet form. You will receive either one or two tablets of Ciprofloxacin. It is taken as a one-off dose. It is important that
you drink plenty of fluid for the rest of the day after having this antibiotic.
Ciprofloxacin is a well-known antibiotic, which is used to treat many different conditions. It is recommended in the national
guidelines for close contacts of someone with meningococcal disease.
The side effects of Ciprofloxacin may include:
Rarely, breathing difficulties are associated with the facial swelling. You should seek medical attention urgently if this
Do not take Ciprofloxacin if:
You have previously has a reaction to Ciprofloxacin
Please tell the nurse or doctor if you have epilepsy or asthma requiring regular treatment.
Please tell the public health doctor or nurse if any of the above apply and they will arrange for you to have an alternative medicine.
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