The Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (Taiwan CDC) reported Thursday on a meningococcal meningitis death in an one-year-old girl who resides in northern Taiwan.

Taiwan CDC reports the timeline:

On March 2, she developed symptoms, including cold and fever, and sought medical attention at a clinic. Her conditions improved after taking the medication. On March, 11, she developed a mild fever. On March 12, she sought further medical attention after developing fever and vomiting. On the same night, she sought medical attention at the emergency department of a hospital when her symptoms persisted. On the following day, March 13, when she became restless and developed ecchymosis, she was transferred to the intensive care unit (ICU) for further treatment. However, her conditions worsened and she unfortunately passed away.

 Gram-negative Neisseria meningitidis diplococcal bacteria/CDC
Gram-negative Neisseria meningitidis diplococcal bacteria/CDC

On March 15, infection with Neisseria meningitidis was confirmed in the case (no serotype identified or reported). Based on the case’s maximum incubation period (March 1 and 11), a total of 32 contacts have been identified. Currently, none of them has developed any suspected symptoms. 17 contacts have taken the prophylaxis.

This is the third such case in Taiwan year to date and the second fatality.

Meningococcal meningitis is an acute infectious disease caused by meningococcus. Outbreaks often occur during the rainy season in winter and spring from November to March. The disease is transmitted from person-to-person through droplets of respiratory or throat secretions from carriers. The incubation period ranges from 2 to 10 days. The symptoms include fever, severe headache, nausea, vomiting, neck stiffness, hemorrhagic rash, pink spots, confusion or other mental changes, coma, and seizure. When necessary, antibiotics are prescribed as the treatment.

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Taiwan CDC advises the public to maintain good hygiene, including handwashing and to seek prompt medical attention when suspected symptoms developed

Travelers planning to visit areas affected by meningococcal meningitis are advised to visit the outpatient travel clinic at contracted hospitals in the nation to evaluate the need of meningococcal meningitis vaccination prior to their trip.