Tulsa school teacher contracts Meningococcal disease

Friday, December 17th 2004, 4:34 am
By: News On 6

Letters are being sent home Friday informing parents about a Tulsa school teacher who is infected with a potentially deadly bacteria.

Tulsa Public School officials confirm that a teacher at Byrd Middle School has contracted Meningococcal disease. School officials say they only learned of the diagnosis late Thursday afternoon after classes had already been dismissed.

An attached fact sheet is designed to ease concerns, explaining how the disease is spread by direct contact with saliva or with respiratory droplets from the nose and throat of the infected person. It also outlines symptoms to watch for like fever, nausea, vomiting, and a rash or a stiff neck.

Officials say the disease is not spread quite as easily as the flu or a cold. People who should be most concerned are those with already compromised immune systems.

State health officials report only about 45 cases per year in Oklahoma.

The teacher is expected to make a full recovery.