Oakland County Health Division (OCHD) was notified yesterday of a Lifetime Fitness day camp employee in Rochester Hills with bacterial meningitis who is a Macomb County resident. We are currently notifying parents of campers and employees. The individual cannot be identified because of laws protecting personal health information.

Meningitis symptoms/Public domain image/Mikael Häggström
Meningitis symptoms/Public domain image/Mikael Häggström

More than 200 children may have been exposed to bacterial meningitis, according to one local media account.

“The disease is not spread through casual contact or by simply being in the same room as an infected person,” said Kathy Forzley, manager/health officer of the Health Division. “A person must have direct contact with an infected person’s saliva or nasal secretions. If exposed, the incubation period is one to ten days.”

Oakland County Health Division is in the process of identifying and contacting persons who may have had close contact with the case, including staff and day camp attendees during the dates of 7/1/2016-7/11/2016.

The people who may have had contact with this individual include those who attended day camp or were known to have worked with the affected individual. These people will be contacted and advised to seek post-exposure treatment even if vaccinations have been received previously.

Persons who may have been exposed could begin to develop symptoms of meningococcal disease at any time up until 7/21/2016. Although the risk of disease is low, the individuals above are advised to be alert for signs of meningococcal disease. These include, but are not limited to a sudden onset of fever, headache, stiff neck, confusion, and sometimes a rash.

If any of these signs or symptoms should develop, the individual should be taken immediately to a physician or emergency room to be evaluated for possible meningococcal disease.

“Bacterial meningitis is a serious illness that can develop quickly but can also be prevented through antibiotics after exposure,” said Dr. Pamela Hackert, chief of medical services for the Health Division. “People who have been contacted by Life Time Fitness and told that they have potentially been a contact to this case should receive antibiotics immediately.”

To reduce the spread and risk of any communicable disease, it is recommended that campers and staff not share items that come in contact with another person’s saliva such as foods, drinks, lipstick/balm, or cigarettes.