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Wood County officials say meningitis not spreading in Cygnet area

CYGNET — Facebook posts Tuesday and Wednesday that a girl died, likely of contagious meningitis, unnecessarily scared Cygnet-area parents.

Privacy laws prevented the Wood County Health Department from confirming or denying whether the girl died or her identity or age. But bacterial meningitis, which can be fatal and contagious has been ruled out, said Pat Snyder, health education, information and communications manager for the Health Department. It will be determined at a future date whether the girl had viral meningitis, which also can be fatal but rarely is contagious, Snyder said.

“Unfortunately this (Facebook post) caused a lot of people some concern last night that they didn’t have to go through,” Snyder said Wednesday.

The health department has received “multiple inquiries” from people fearful that a contagious strain of meningitis might be spreading.

The Facebook post, titled “Emergency Notification Alert,” was posted and shared on multiple Facebook pages: “One of the CYGNET 12U GIRLS players has passed away sudden and unexpectedly. Testing is still being done, but at this time medical experts have told the family it is likely meningitis … Please do NOT take this matter lightly. All players were in contact with this child during their tournaments that were hosted in Cygnet between the dates of July 8, 2014 thru July 12, 2014.”

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