What to Know
- An employee at Great Neck North High School has been diagnosed with meningococcal disease, school officials say
- Anyone who's had prolonged contact with the unidentified employee has already been identified
- Casual contact in an office or classroom setting is not usually significant enough to cause concern, officials say
An employee at a Long Island high school has been diagnosed with meningococcal disease, a contagious bloodstream infection that could potentially be lethal, authorities say.
The employee at Great Neck North High School was diagnosed with the disease, which includes bacterial meningitis, although it's not believed the patient has meningitis.
Nassau County Department of Health spokeswoman Mary Ellen Laurain tells Newsday the agency is investigating; officials have interviewed the patient, but her condition and role at the school have not been disclosed.
Anyone who's had contact with the patient has already been notified, according to an email from schools superintendent Teresa Prendergast. Casual contact in an office or classroom setting is not usually significant enough to cause concern.
Others who have had contact with the patient -- including kissing, sharing food, drinks, beverage containers or eating utensils, exchanging nasal or oral secretions, or any similar exposure like close face-to-face contact for a prolonged period of time -- between May 14 and 16 or May 23 and 25 may be at risk, school officials said.
Individuals should seek treatment within 14 days of exposure; symptoms can include high fever, headache, vomiting, stiff neck and rash. Symptoms usually appear within five days of exposure but can manifest between two and 10 days.