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Meningitis boy in hospital

PUBLISHED: 21:15 13 April 2003 | UPDATED: 13:43 03 March 2010

A FOUR-year-old pupil from the nursery at Murrayfield Community Primary school in Ipswich is today being treated for a potentially fatal form of meningitis.

A FOUR-year-old pupil from the nursery at Murrayfield Community Primary school in Ipswich is today being treated for a potentially fatal form of meningitis.

Parents of children who attend the school have received information letters from the headteacher and are coming to terms with the news.

The boy, who attends mornings at the Nacton Road school, was rushed to Ipswich Hospital on Thursday. His parents remain at his bedside.

He is believed to be suffering from meningococcal septicaemia which is extremely dangerous and can prove fatal within hours. Early treatment with antibiotics is vital.

Richard Mason, a local resident and who has a son in Year 6 at the school said he was surprised to receive the letter because there had not been any cases of meningitis for some time.

"The letter was quite informative and said that it needed prolonged contact to be passed on. The school had taken advice from the public health department."

Public health officials are seeking to reassure parents of Murrayfield pupils that their children are not at risk as cases are usually isolated. The school has now broken up for the Easter holidays.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk Local Health Protection Unit said: "We do have a case of a child with suspected meningococcal septicaemia. We don't have an outbreak and there are no further implications for the school."

She added that the condition was very rare with around 20-30 cases in Suffolk every year, the majority of which occur during the winter months.

Di Gooding, headteacher at Murrayfield, said: "We had a phone call yesterday afternoon to say one of our pupils was in Ipswich Hospital. We are hoping the doctors caught it early. We believe he is beginning to respond to treatment.

"It is always very upsetting to hear that any of our children are ill and when it involves something as potentially dangerous as this, it is difficult. Public health have assured us there is a very low risk to our other children. We are keeping in contact with them and following their guidelines.

"Obviously our thoughts are with the child and his family and we very much hope he will make a speedy recovery."

She was on her way to deliver a parcel of get well messages and cards to the boy's home, from all of his friends at the 52-place nursery.


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