Meningitis kills child

A THREE-year old girl from Fregim, Amarante, has died from meningitis after five days in a coma in Porto’s S. João Hospital. The first symptoms of the child’s illness were a high fever, which was later diagnosed as meningitis.

Meanwhile, a seven-year-old girl interned in Braga’s São Marcos Hospital since last week is reported to be showing “distinct signs of improvement”.

In other cases, two boys, aged 12 and 13, and a 15-year-old girl, treated for meningitis in the Amadora-Sintra Hospital have also recovered sufficiently to be moved out of the intensive care ward. All three had been admitted with a severe type of meningitis that has no vaccine and which can be fatal.

Parents of pupils at the D.Leonor de Lencastre School in S Marcos (Cacém), the school attended by all three children, said the atmosphere was subdued. Health Minister, Correia de Campos, has guaranteed that the school will be thoroughly disinfected.

The Director General of Health has recorded 98 cases of meningitis since the beginning of the year, seven of which have been fatal, three more than in the same period last year.