Manila hospital temporarily closes ER over suspected meningococcemia case

Meningococcemia case
 Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Hospital in Tondo, Manila is temporarily closed

Manila, Philippines – An emergency room of a hospital in Tondo, Manila has been temporarily closed due to suspected meningococcemia case, a bacterial form of meningitis that is transmitted from person to person.

The Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Hospital remains closed on Wednesday after a 55-year old patient showed symptoms of meninggococemia, such as fever and rashes.

The patient has been isolated and everyone in the emergency room, along with the hospital staff was given a prophylactic against the possible infection.

"This is just a suspected case but, of course, to avoid anyone else being potentially infected, we've temporarily closed (the emergency room)," Dr. Rolan Mendiola, senior house officer at the hospital said.

He added that results of confirmatory tests would be available within five days.

Meningococcemia is a rare infection caused by the Neisseria meningitidisbacteria. This is the same type of bacteria that can cause meningitis.

When the bacteria infect the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord, it’s called meningitis. When the infection remains in the blood but doesn’t infect the brain or spinal cord, it’s called meningococcemia.

It’s also possible to have both meningitis and meningococcemia at the same time. In this case, the bacteria appears in the bloodstream first and then passes into the brain.

Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo said meningococcemia is a transmissible disease, meaning a person in contact with the patient's bodily fluids can be infected.

The symptoms of this infectious disease can first appear as a flu-like illness and rapidly worsen. Its symptoms include fever; fatigue; vomiting; cold chills; severe aches or pain in the muscles, joints, chest, or abdomen; diarrhea; and a dark purple rash in the later stage.

"'Yung meningococcemia, talagang mataas na mataas ang lagnat at nagkakaroon ng pantal na later kumakalat, so kung may ganitong signs magpatingin na po kaagad sa hospital o sa ating mga clinics para macheck-up," the Health official said

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