MINOT AIR FORCE BASE – The North Dakota Department of Health does not believe that, as of now, there is a conceived large risk to the public regarding a confirmed case of bacterial meningitis in a child on Minot Air Force Base, according to an immunization official.
A confirmed case was reported to Public Health on the base this week. It’s the first confirmed case in North Dakota since 2014.
Jenny Galbraith, the Immunization Surveillance Coordinator for the department, tells Your News Leader that they cannot release any identifying information about the victim, since there is only one confirmed case.
She said the department only releases identities if there are five or more confirmed cases, and the department would release more information in general if there was more of a conceived risk to public health.
Bacterial meningitis differs from viral meningitis, in that the bacterial form is typically more severe but is vaccinated against. Those who contract viral meningitis often do so due to a weakened immune system from another illness.
The most common symptoms of bacterial meningitis include: high fever, headaches, vomiting, a rash, confusion, and drowsiness.
In more serious cases, the victim can suffer seizures.
Galbraith said children are required to be vaccinated against twice—before entering 7th grade, and again before entering 11th grade. The first dosage protects against four different strains of the bacteria.
North Dakotans can find more information on immunizations on the department’s website: http://ndhealth.gov/immunize/