To: Washington Cty Health Care Providers, Hospitals, Ambulatory Care Ctrs
From: Susan Schoenfeld, Deputy State Epidemiologist
Date: July 21, 2011
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This week, an adult in Washington County died from meningococcal disease. The Health Department is contacting people who had close contact with this individual from July 10 through 19. Close contacts will be referred to their health care providers for chemoprophylaxis. Any person who is ill and concerned about their symptoms will be advised to seek medical assessment.
Over the past five years, Vermont has averaged three confirmed cases of meningococcal disease per year. All were sporadic cases. This year there have been five cases confirmed. This is the first case reported in Washington County.
Guidelines for considering adults as close contacts:
- Anyone who had contact with oral secretions through sharing of food, beverages, smoking materials, intimate kissing or intimate contact.
- Anyone who lived or stayed in the same room with the ill individual within the week before the individual became ill.
- Environmental exposures and social or workplace interactions are not considered as risk factors for transmission. Examples of interactions that would not put an individual at risk include working close by or riding in a car together for a limited time period.
While we do not expect secondary cases, clinicians are asked to promptly report any suspected case of meningococcal infection to the Health Department at
1-800-640-4374. An epidemiologist is on call evenings and weekends.