Oklahoma State Department Of Health Releases Oologah Meningitis Timeline
By Tara Vreeland, The News On 6
OOLOGAH, OK -- Meningitis survivor Jeremiah Mitchell had another surgery Friday morning at the Shriners Hospital for Children in Cincinnati. It was his third surgery this week.
The 6-year-old will have four more surgeries at the Cincinnati hospital. One of those surgeries will be to reconstruct Jeremiah's lips and lower jaw.
It has been almost a month since Jeremiah and six other students from Oologah-Talala Public Schools contracted bacterial meningitis.
Two second graders died.
Terrified parents say the school district knew about the outbreak days before school was actually closed, but according to a detailed timeline released by the Oklahoma State Department of Health, that's not true.
Wednesday, March 10: The Oklahoma State Department of Health learned of a confirmed case of bacterial meningitis and an investigation was launched.
At 6:20 the next morning, a second case of suspected meningitis was reported. At 7:10 a.m., a third case.
All three cases were elementary school students from Oologah-Talala.
By 8 a.m., health officials rushed to put together a plan to gather the necessary people and supplies to take to the school.
At 8:20 a.m., the health department learned of case #2, 8-year-old Andrew Thomas, had died.
The tally now stood at an unusually-high four cases.
8:36 a.m. Thursday, March 11: School superintendent Rick Thomas was notified for the first time of the meningitis outbreak.
The school then worked with the state health department to take action.
By 9:45 a.m., escorted by a highway patrol officer, the state health department's investigation team was on the road from Oklahoma City to Oologah.
By noon, a clinic had been set up to start vaccinating students, staff and family members of the Oologah school community.
However, it wasn't until 12:30 p.m. that the decision was made to release students for the rest of the day.
At 1:30 that afternoon, case #4, 8-year-old Shuache Moua, a classmate of the first victim, had also died.
On the morning of Friday, March 12, school was closed, but the vaccination clinic continued.
At 8:22 a.m., the seventh and final case of meningitis was confirmed.
The News On 6 asked Oologah schools for its timeline, but hasn't heard back yet.