Teen dies of meningococcal disease

Dec. 30, 2004 at 7:29 PM

PHILADELPHIAI, Pa., Dec. 30 (UPI) -- A 17-year-old girl has died in a Philadelphia hospital of meningococcal disease, health officials said.

The teen, whose name was not released, was a senior at Council Rock High School South, the Philadelphia Inquirer said. She was admitted to St. Mary Medical Center Middletown Township on Monday after experiencing fever and vomiting. She later was transferred to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, where she died on Wednesday.

Meningococcal disease is spread by secretions from the throat and respiratory tract through coughing, kissing, and sharing of food or utensils. The disease is less contagious than colds or the flu.

Symptoms include fever, headache, vomiting and stiff neck. The time lapse from onset of symptoms to development of severe illness may be very short, the Department of Health said.

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