A child who attends Coombe Down Nursery in Bath is being treated for meningococcal infection.
Rob Dawson, Director of Support at Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) said, “Our thoughts are with the child affected and their family. We are here for them if they need any support and we have offered our support to the nursery.
“Parents who have children at Coombe Down Nursery should be reassured that the risk of the infection spreading is low. Meningococcal bacteria are transmitted from person to person by close contact with others such as coughing, sneezing, kissing etc. Usually we have to be in very close or regular contact with someone for the bacteria to pass between us. Even when this happens, most of us will not become ill because we have natural immunity. The bacteria cannot live longer than a few moments outside the body, so they are not carried on things like clothes and bedding, toys or dishes so there is no need to be concerned that the physical environment of the nursery itself is the source of the infection.
“We are in touch with Public Health England who have identified close contacts of the case and offered antibiotics as a precaution.
“We encourage all families to take up the offer of the vaccines that are available as part of the routine immunisation schedule, however there are not yet vaccines available to prevent all types of meningitis and septicaemia, so it is important for everyone to be aware of the symptoms.”
Anyone who has questions about meningitis and septicaemia can contact MRF’s free helpline on 080 8800 3344.