Chandler teen the second fatal meningitis case in Oklahoma

Saturday, March 4th 2006, 5:09 pm
By: News On 6

CHANDLER, Okla. (AP) _ Family and friends gather today to remember a 13-year-old cheerleader whose death earlier this week from meningitis is the second in Oklahoma this year.

Aubrey Keelean had been taking an antibiotic for a flu-like ailment that had infected several of her friends when she began complaining of a headache last week.

Her mother, Anna Keelean, says Aubrey slipped into a coma last Sunday and died on Wednesday.

Meningitis is a rare inflammation of the brain and spinal cord lining caused by infection with either viruses or bacteria. Symptoms are high fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, confusion and sleepiness.

The state Health Department says four of 19 who contracted the disease last year died.

Last month, health officials announced that a 44-year-old Cherokee County man died of bacterial meningitis.

State epidemiologist Doctor Brett Cauthen says tests are being conducted to determine what type of meningitis Aubrey Keelean had.

Cauthen says there's no reason for anyone who may have been around the child to panic, and that her death -- while tragic -- is isolated.