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News for Norther Colorado and the world

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Additional Meningitis case confirmed

lc2  Additional Meningitis case confirmed

The Larimer County Department of Health and Environment reports that another case of meningococcal disease in a Fort Collins area resident has been confirmed. The affected individual is also associated with the two hockey teams in Division C of the adult league that played at EPIC (Edora Pool and Ice Center) on June 9 at 7:15 PM.

The person had left for a family vacation to Montana on June 12. According to Dr. Adrienne LeBailly, director of the Larimer County Health Department, the individual apparently began to feel ill on Wednesday, June 16. He was taken by his family to a small hospital Thursday evening, where physicians immediately suspected meningococcal sepsis (overwhelming infection of the blood – “blood poisoning”) and was then transferred to a larger hospital by ambulance. He is now in intensive care and in critical condition. LeBailly noted that both the Health Department and hockey team members had been unable to reach the player who was on vacation to alert him of the possible exposure to meningococcal disease at the June 9 game.

“This is such a tragic situation, ” she continued. “We will continue to follow up on our investigation and treatment of contacts so that we can try to prevent further meningococcal illness. ” LeBailly noted that the Health Department is working closely with hockey league representatives, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the U. S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in responding to the situation.

The Health Department is following up with all household members of cases, and with all hockey players in the C division for preventive antibiotics and vaccination. Since Memorial Day, there have been four confirmed cases of meningococcal meningitis in Fort Collins residents. Of the four confirmed cases, there has been one death, and two persons remain in critical condition in intensive care. The first confirmed case has been discharged from PVH to a Denver area hospital.

Because three of the four cases are clearly linked to the June 9 hockey game, so far this situation is considered an organizational outbreak, rather than a community outbreak. At this time, preventive efforts will be focused on household members of cases and on the Division C teams in the hockey league. However, if further molecular “fingerprinting” shows that these cases are tied to other cases from elsewhere in Colorado or to the CSU student case, preventive efforts may be expanded. “This is an evolving situation, and recommendations may change as we learn more, ” said LeBailly. LeBailly also stressed that the recreational facilities where the games took place are not sources of infection.

“There is no reason to stay away from the ice facilities or the pools, ” she said. “These bacteria do not survive long on surfaces and are most efficiently spread through direct contact with the saliva of an infected person. ”

Additional information: For more information on meningococcal disease, including symptoms, some helpful resources can be found at: Larimer County Meningitis Info Line: 498-6706 and

Larimer County Health Department

Colorado Department of Health

Center for Disease Control

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