East Texas 6th grader dies from non-contagious meningitis

Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 11:55am

An East Texas middle school student has died from a non-contagious form of meningitis.

New Boston Independent School District Superintendent, Gary VanDeaver, tells KMSS the student, a sixth grader at New Boston Middle School, has died after contracting the infection.

According to the Center for Disease Control, Fungal meningitis (the form which is non-contagious) is rare and usually the result of spread of a fungus through blood to the spinal cord. Although anyone can get fungal meningitis, people with weak immune systems, like those with AIDS or cancer, are at higher risk.

The most common cause of fungal meningitis for people with weak immune systems is Cryptococcus. This disease is one of the most common causes of adult meningitis in Africa.

The child was checked last week to confirm the type of meningitis before passing away.

No specific activities are known to cause fungal meningitis. Avoid soil and other environments that are likely to contain fungus. People with weak immune systems (for example, those with HIV infection) should try to avoid bird droppings and avoid digging and dusty activities, particularly if they live in a geographic region where fungi like Histoplasma, Coccidioides, or Blastomyces species exist. HIV-infected people cannot completely avoid exposure.

Stay with KMSS for all the updates as they are released.


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