The Wawascene was created by Dr. Mark Stock, former Superintendent of the Wawasee Community School Corporation. Due to its local popularity, Dr. Stock has left the blog site to future Wawasee administrators.

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Monday, February 02, 2009

February 2, 2009: Kosciusko County Health Department Press Release

Below is an updated press release from the Kosciusko County Health Department in cooperation with the Indiana State Department of Health in reference to a Wawasee Middle School student.

The administration wants to thank the Kosciusko County Health Department, our instructional and guidance staff, mental health therapists, custodial staff, and our local ministerial staff members who have provided and will continue to provide support during this time.

WARSAW, IN 46580-2877
(574) 372-2349
Fax: (574) 269-2023

February 2, 2009

The Kosciusko County Health Department, in cooperation with the Indiana State Department of Health is investigating a suspected case of meningococcal disease. There is only one unfortunate and isolated case. No other illnesses have been reported that meets the criteria of meningococcal meningitis or disease.

The Kosciusko County Health Department has continued to collaborate with the school system, the local hospitals, and the ISDH throughout the weekend to monitor for possible cases or threats to the public health.

The Kosciusko County Health Department, has contacted persons who have had close contact with the case and has made recommendations on who should have antibiotics to prevent infection.

A person must have direct contact with an infected person’s saliva during the 7 days prior to the onset of illness in order to become infected. The disease is not spread through casual contact or by simply being in the same room as an infected person.

This disease caused by the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis generally affects people in two ways:
· meningitis (an inflammation of the tissues covering the brain and or spinal cord)
· bloodstream infection (that usually leads to bleeding under the skin)

These include, but are not limited to a sudden onset of fever, headache, stiff neck, confusion and
sometimes a rash. Newborns and small infants may also vomit, and be tired or very fussy. If any of these signs or symptoms should develop, the person should be taken immediately to a physician or emergency room to be evaluated for possible meningococcal disease.

Close contact means:
· household members
· persons who frequently eat or sleep in the same house
· persons who spent 4-6 hours per day together
· persons who have come in contact with salvia of the infected person by kissing, sharing eating and drinking utensils

For all other persons, including those who had casual contact as would occur in most school, social, or church activities, the risk of infection is very low. Preventive antibiotics are not recommended for casual contacts of infected persons.

There are two vaccines that protect against most types of this disease. A dose of meningococcal vaccine is recommended for children and adolescents 11 through 18 years of age. Meningococcal vaccine is also recommended for other people at increased risk for meningococcal disease such as:
· College freshmen living in dormitories
· U. S. military recruits
· Travelers to countries where meningococcal disease is common, such as parts of Africa
· Anyone with a damaged spleen, or whose spleen has been removed
· Persons with certain medical conditions that affect their immune system (check with your physician)

To reduce the spread and risk of any communicable disease, it is recommended that individuals avoid sharing foods, drinks, lipstick/balm, cigarettes or other media on which there is contact with another person’s saliva.

For more information you can visit the ISDH Quick Facts site at: Or the CDC Meningitis (Meningococcal Disease) web site at If you have questions please call the Kosciusko County Health Department at 574-372-2349.