Oklahoma girl dies after developing meningitis

Tuesday, July 23rd 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) _ An Afton, Okla., girl who developed bacterial meningitis a week after she was at a Girl Scout camp near here has died.

Jessica Lewandowski, 11, died Sunday afternoon at Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital in Palo Alto, Calif., said hospital spokesman Matt Nash.

The family had gone to California for vacation after the girl left the camp. She was among 80 campers who spent the week of July 6-12 at the 180-acre facility south of Joplin.

As a precaution, the Ozark Area Girl Scout Council closed Camp Mintahama on Wednesday. The council also alerted parents of other girls who were at the camp with Jessica.

Meningitis is an inflammation of the linings of the brain and spinal cord that may be caused by viruses or bacteria. The bacterial form, which affects about one in 100,000 people annually, can be life-threatening if not diagnosed early and treated promptly.

Bacterial meningitis is contagious and can be spread by close contact with the nose and throat discharges of an infected person.