DC Elementary School Student Diagnosed With Bacterial Meningitis

Parents whose students attend a D.C. elementary school say they're concerned after one child was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis.

D.C. Public Schools confirmed a student at Burrville Elementary School in Northeast D.C. tested positive for meningococcal meningitis.

The school and D.C. health officials sent a letter to parents of children in grades PreK3 and K4 who were in close contact with the sick child on Friday. The letter urged them to take their children to the doctor. 

Some parents said Tuesday they were frustrated that the school didn't initially notify all parents about the potential exposure.

"Everybody should be aware of that. Everybody's kids are at a risk and at a danger in this school. Everybody could be sick. It's contagious," one mom said.

“While I am relieved to learn that DCPS and DC Health acted swiftly to inform affected school families as soon as DC Health was alerted of the meningitis case, I am extremely concerned that the rest of the Burrville school families received no communication about this critical and potentially fatal health matter. Many parents at the school only learned of the meningitis case from media reports,” Ward 7 Council member Vincent Gray said in a news release.

Meningococcal meningitis causes inflammation in the lining surrounding the brain and spinal cord and people in close contact with someone who has tested positive must be treated immediately to prevent further illness, officials said.

Symptoms of bacterial meningitis include high fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea and confusion. Meningitis can be deadly.

Health officials say symptoms can take up to 10 days to appear.

Gray said DCPS later sent a letter to all parents about the situation and a robo-calls also went out on Tuesday.

Contact Us