An 18-year-old student at the Nuestra Señora de Málaga Institute (IES Martiricos) has died of meningococcal meningitis, as confirmed by sources at the Education delegation and health sources. Professionals from the epidemiology department have been monitoring the case and have applied the prophylaxis measures established by the protocol among the contacts of the deceased girl.
On Wednesday, a minute's silence was observed in memory of the student who died, who was studying a basic vocational training course in commerce. The Nuestra Señora de la Victoria secondary school notified all the pupils in the class of the deceased to go to their respective health centres to receive antibiotic treatment. The school is to hold a tribute to the girl who died.
Bacterial meningitis is a serious illness, especially when sepsis sets in, which can affect the whole body. Some people with the infection die, and death can occur within hours. However, most of those affected recover. In some cases, sufferers, after overcoming the acute phase of the disease, may suffer permanent disabilities, such as brain damage, hearing loss or learning disabilities.
According to the World Health Organization, meningitis affects 500,000 people worldwide each year, of whom five to ten per cent die. Infants are most at risk of infection. However, the percentage of deaths from meningococcal meningitis in Spain is very low, with an incidence of less than three cases per 10,000 inhabitants.
The initial symptoms of the pathology are similar to those of the flu, such as fever or severe headache, signs that may at first appear to be a trivial condition, which makes it difficult to detect. "It is very important to detect meningitis early, because when it starts it progresses rapidly and sepsis can spread," medical sources said.