2 Children In Boston Diagnosed With Meningococcal Disease

meningococcal bacteria

Meningococcal bacteria. (Getty Images)

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Health officials in Boston say two young children at two different day care centers have been diagnosed with meningococcal disease, which can lead to bacterial meningitis.

Both cases were associated with Horizons for Homeless Children day care centers that specialize in serving children who have experienced homelessness.

As of now, the city says it is not clear if the two cases are connected.

Those people who are close to the children have been given antibiotics as a precaution.

Officials say the last reported case was back on October 18, and no other cases have been reported since.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said anyone with concerns can call 311 or the Boston Public Health Commission.

WBZ-TV's Dr. Mallika Marshall says these infections are contagious generally through saliva, but require close contact with people.

"Anybody who is in the same household as someone with the infection, kids in the same day care," Dr. Marshall said. "But there are ways to prevent people from getting sick who have been exposed—by taking antibiotics—and there is also a routine vaccine that's generally given to kids around age 11-12, and then 4 or 5 years later."

Marshall says anyone with high fever, stiff neck, and sensitivity to light should seek medical attention right away.

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