KWTX is reporting that the child who was hospitalized earlier this week with a form of bacterial meningitis has passed away.

In a press release issued Thursday, officials wrote, "We are deeply saddened to report that the Saegert Elementary School student (a second grader) diagnosed with a form of bacterial meningitis has passed away. Our deepest condolences go out to the family, friends, and teachers of the student. Killeen ISD has counseling teams on hand at Saegert today to provide support services to children. Saegert is continuing classes. The school is safe and no other cases of meningitis have been reported."

It turns out the diagnoses was pneumococcal meningitis, which is one of the deadliest bacterial forms of the disease.

Family physician Tim Martindale was reported to say that, due to vaccine programs, he hasn't seen a case like this in years.

He also said, "In general, any eight-year-old has had several vaccines already against this disease, and so that specific bug has been vaccinated and most children are almost thoroughly protected from it. It's very rare nowadays to have bacterial meningitis."

He says that it takes 3 to 5 days for symptoms to show up. Those include fever, rash, headache, neck stiffness, vomiting, chills, muscle and joint pain, and abdominal pain. If your child shows these symptoms he says you should skip the doctors office and go straight to the emergency room.

On Tuesday the school district had a team of more than 20 people, with expertise in deep cleaning, scrubbed school surfaces, and the school bus which the child rode in.

 

At this time they don't know how the child contracted the disease, but it is a "close contact" illness. Simply being in the building means that the likelihood of you getting the illness is extremely low. That's according to Dr. Martindale. He also mentioned that the parents of children who did have "close contact" with the child should be concerned.