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Doctor Discusses Meningitis Misconceptions; Oologah Survivor Able To Speak Again

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"What we want to promote to our public is vaccination, and then those personal hygiene practices of covering your cough and sneezing into your sleeve," said Dr. Kristy Bradley, State Epidemiologist. "What we want to promote to our public is vaccination, and then those personal hygiene practices of covering your cough and sneezing into your sleeve," said Dr. Kristy Bradley, State Epidemiologist.
Bradley says rumors are out there that school closures are recommended for cases of meningitis. That's not true, in fact Bradley never even advised Oologah to close. Bradley says rumors are out there that school closures are recommended for cases of meningitis. That's not true, in fact Bradley never even advised Oologah to close.
On Friday, Jeremiah Mitchell's doctors put a cap in his trache, enabling him to speak for the first time in months. On Friday, Jeremiah Mitchell's doctors put a cap in his trache, enabling him to speak for the first time in months.

By Jeffrey Smith, The News On 6 

OOLOGAH, OK -- Rumors continue to swirl about Oologah's response to a deadly meningitis outbreak.

"There's a great deal of fear, and sometimes the fear can override the facts," said Dr. Kristy Bradley, State Epidemiologist.

Bradley is asking other health leaders to help clear up misconceptions.

"What we want to promote to our public is vaccination, and then those personal hygiene practices of covering your cough and sneezing into your sleeve," said Bradley.

Bradley says rumors are out there that school closures are recommended for cases of meningitis. That's not true, in fact Bradley never even advised Oologah to close. 

Meningitis is spread through direct, intimate contact, like coughing or sneezing within a few feet of somebody.

Bradley says she has spoken to many school administrators who believe exhaustive cleaning efforts are the way to go.

"The bacteria does not survive out of a person's body. So spending a lot of money cleaning and things like that is not accomplishing anything," said Bradley.

Meanwhile, the last victim still in the hospital is recovering at a remarkable pace. On Friday, Jeremiah Mitchell's doctors put a cap in his trache, enabling him to speak for the first time in months. 

There's still a heavy speech impediment, but Jeremiah is able to verbalize and articulate words. 

Bradley hopes Jeremiah's fight teaches other parents the importance of vaccination.

Jeremiah's last surgery in Cincinnati, a multi-hour long facial reconstruction, is scheduled for the end of May.

5/1/2010  Related Story: Oologah Meningitis Survivor's Condition Improving; Fundraisers Held

 

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