The Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center in Marikina City had to conduct a lockdown on its emergency room after a child patient, just one year old, died of alleged meningococcemia at 11:45 pm last night, November 4.
The girl was first brought to the Rizal Medical Center in Pasig City before being rushed to the hospital after the appearance of bluish rashes, and was declared dead after five hours. The parents of the child were also said to have had the same type of rash.
As a result, the hospital’s lobby was temporarily used as the functioning emergency room, while the actual emergency room was immediately fumigated for disinfection. Hospital employees and relatives who came in direct contact with the child were given prophylaxis, a kind of antibiotic used as anti-meningo medication. Isolation measures were also used.
As of late this morning, November 5, the emergency room has been reopened after it was declared safe, says Dr. Bueno, in an interview with interaksyon.com.
Meningococcemia is an infection of the bloodstream, caused by the bacterium Neisseria meningitis. It is airborne and spread via the respiratory droplets. Preliminary symptoms generally include fever, aches and pains, with a rash typically present. Complications include multiple organ failure, shock, decrease in blood circulation to the extremities, and death.
While it is potentially fatal, there is a vaccine that can help prevent four out of the five most prevalent serogroups or “distinct variation within a species of bacteria or viruses or among immune cells of different individuals”. This vaccine is generally recommended to be given to children at 11 years old, followed by a booster shot at age 16.