By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The city of Stavanger in southwestern Norway has reported the death of an 18-year-old high school girl due to meningococcal meningitis.

Gram-negative Neisseria meningitidis diplococcal bacteria/CDC

The girl, who was a student at St. Olav High School, was admitted to Stavanger University Hospital (SUS) last week where she died.

The headmaster of the school has sent SMS with information to all students and staff.

Meningococcal disease is a contagious infection that can be very serious. It may cause infection of the covering of the spinal cord, bacteria in the blood or pneumonia. It is spread by close contact, such as living with or kissing an infected person. Disease outbreaks typically occur in communities, schools, colleges and other high-risk populations.

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Symptoms of meningitis include, but are not limited to, a sudden onset of fever, headache, stiff neck, confusion and sometimes a rash. Quick medical attention is important if meningococcal disease is suspected.

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The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends vaccination with a meningococcal conjugate vaccine for all preteens and teens at 11 to 12 years old, with a booster dose at 16 years old. Teens and young adults (16 through 23 years old) also may be vaccinated with a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine.

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