Parents Say Bacterial Meningitis Caused Death Of Pawnee County Infant


Tuesday, February 14th 2012, 12:25 pm
By: News On 6


A four-month-old Pawnee County infant is dead after contracting what his parents say is bacterial meningitis.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health is investigating.

The four month old lived in Pawnee County but attended this Blossom Child Care Center in Sand Springs. He was taken to the hospital Saturday and died Sunday. His father said it was bacterial meningitis.

"First of all, I want the parents of the child to know that we are deeply saddened and our hearts and prayers go out with that family today," said Celeste Hacker, President of Blossom Child Care Centers.

"This is absolutely our worst nightmare and for the parents. Like I said, anytime a parent loses a child it's just devastating."

She says her staff has worked overtime cleaning the facility from the carpet to the ceiling.

"They're scrubbing down all the toys, walls, floors, furniture...everything," Hacker said.

Hacker says she's been told by the health department that this is a different strain than the form of meningitis that killed two children in Oologah two years ago. She said there is no more risk for the children who are currently here.

That's why the center was open Tuesday; Hacker says the health department has not told her it's necessary to shut down. So she's making extra sure the kids wash their hands and everything's clean.

The father of the little boy tells News On 6 he doesn't blame the child care center for his son's death and says he wouldn't hesitate bringing his other children here in the future.

He wants parents to know that bacterial meningitis is passed by direct contact of saliva or nasal fluid from one person to another, whether through a sneeze or a shared bottle or cup.

"It's just something that's unfortunate and we pray that it never happens again," Hacker said.

Hacker says the health department has told her they are treating the little boy's immediate family but don't believe it's necessary to treat the other children at the center since the boy was an infant and did not have much contact with the other kids.

2/14/2012 Related Story: Tulsa Student Tests Positive For Bacterial Meningitis  

The CDC has a special section on its website discussing meningitis.