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Northern Utah youth dies from bacterial meningitis

Health » Officials say other students were not exposed.

First Published Jan 28 2014 11:46 am • Last Updated Mar 25 2014 02:51 pm

A 12-year-old girl in northern Utah died last weekend from a rare form of bacterial meningitis.

Faith Hunter, a sixth-grader at Mount Logan Middle School, was treated last week at Primary Children’s Hospital and died on Saturday surrounded by family, according to an obituary published in The Herald Journal.

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Bear River Health Department officials say there’s no need for parents to be concerned about the disease spreading to other schoolchildren.

"She wasn’t in school during [the disease’s] incubation time and there was no need for prophylaxis [treatment of children with antibiotics]," said the department’s spokeswoman Jill Parker.

Additionally, state health officials report no spike in meningitis cases or deaths.

Meningitis is a rare disease caused by inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain or spinal cord. It’s reported to public health authorities for tracking, but it can have a number of causes: viral, bacterial, parasitic, fungal and stemming from injury or unknown origin, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Bacterial meningitis is contagious. It’s spread through the exchange of saliva — kissing or sharing food and drinks — which is why it’s typically confined to enclosed spaces, such as college dorms or military barracks.


Twitter: @KStewart4Trib

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