Sixth grader dies from bacterial meningitis

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LOUISBURG, Kan. — A Louisburg middle school student has died from complications of a strain of bacterial meningitis.

Aaron Willard was a 6th grader at Louisburg Middle School.

According to the Sharon Zoellner, Louisburg Schools superintendent, it was determined that the particular strain of bacterial meningitis was not contagious and posed no public health risk.

“Overland Park Regional and Children’s Mercy Hospital both confirmed that the student did not have any type of contagious meningitis that would require any treatment for anyone who may have been in contact with the student,” Zoellner said. “The Kansas Department of Health also confirmed that for us. We were saddened to learn of this news and will be providing opportunities for students and staff to visit with counselors if necessary.”

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7 comments

    • Liz

      The germs that cause bacterial meningitis can be contagious.

      If you have been around Aaron and have symptoms the call your Dr. By just saying “it’s contagious” you cause a lot of people to freak out. The school was in contact with the infectious disease Dr at the hospital…I think that Dr would know better than anyone.

  • Amae

    The germs that cause bacterial meningitis can be contagious. Some bacteria can spread through the exchange (e.g., by kissing) of respiratory and throat secretions (e.g., saliva or mucus). Fortunately, most of the bacteria that cause meningitis are not as contagious as viruses that cause the common cold or the flu. Also, the bacteria are not spread by casual contact or by simply breathing the air where a person with meningitis has been. Other meningitis-causing bacteria are not spread person-to-person, but can cause disease because the person has certain risk factors (such as a weak immune system or head trauma). Unlike other bacterial causes of meningitis, you can get Listeria monocytogenes by eating contaminated food.
    Sometimes the bacteria that cause meningitis spread to other people. This usually happens when there is close or long contact with a sick person in the same household or daycare center, or if they had direct contact with a patient’s oral secretions (such as a boyfriend or girlfriend). People who qualify as close contacts of a person with meningococcal or Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) meningitis are at higher risk of getting disease and may need preventive antibiotics (see Prevention). Close contacts of a person with meningitis caused by other bacteria, such as Streptococcus pneumoniae, do not need antibiotics. Tell your doctor if you think you have been exposed to someone with meningitis.

  • Liz

    If it was contagious, those people who came in contact with him every day would be told to get checked out. Otherwise it would just spread from one person to another. Keep reading….