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East Texas 6th grader dies from non-contagious meningitis

East Texas 6th grader dies from non-contagious meningitis
The School Yard

POSTED: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:55pm

UPDATED: Saturday, December 7, 2013 - 4:52pm

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

New Boston Independent School District Superintendent, Gary VanDeaver, tells KETK 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 KETK for all the updates as they are released.

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Our hearts and support go out to those affected by the terrible effects of meningitis. The Meningitis Foundation of America offers extensive information regarding diagnosis, immunization, recovery and the after effects of meningitis. MFA survives primarily by donations. For the past 16 years, we have assisted people through support groups, resources and advocacy in efforts to help those affected with meningitis overcome and those around them understand the journey ahead.

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