State officials are investigating a couple of possible meningitis cases in northeast Iowa’s — one which apparently has proven fatal. State Epidemiologist, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk, confirms there is a case of meningococcal meningitis in Allamakee County. But, Quinlisk says she cannot release any details on the victim due to the new federal law regarding the release of medical information. She says everyone who may’ve been exposed has been given antibiotics. There’s apparently been a deadly case of some type of meningitis in Winneshiek County. Quinlisk again can’t release any details about the victim.She says at the time it does not appear to be meningococcal meningitis, and it does not look like the cases are related. Quinlisk says they’re taking the proper precautions in Winneshiek County just to be safe.She says no one is getting preventative antibiotics at this time, but they’re investigating the case. Quinlisk says the meningococcal meningitis found in Allamakee County is rarely spread by human contact. She says we have 30 to 40 cases of the disease in Iowa each year, and she says she’s only seen it spread between people three times. Quinlisk says the disease strikes randomly. She says in most cases people have been carrying the bacteria around for months, and something triggers it to invade. She says something like the flu opens the way for the meningitis to invade. The two victims are reportedly teenagers.
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