Health official say they haven't seen a spike in a deadly infection like this in the past 10 years. That has led the Missouri Department of Health to issue a bulletin warning that this infection that often happens in the bloodstream can be deadly in hours.

This urgent alert from the Missouri Department of Health was just issued a few days ago in an official press release. It's an advisory regarding "invasive meningococcal disease". This is the result of an emergency alert from the Centers for Disease Control showing a sudden spike in meningitis cases that have not been seen in over a decade.

The Missouri health alert says that there are already 143 cases of the infection reported in 2024 which is 62 more than this date in March of last year.

Infographic, CDC
Infographic, CDC

While the Missouri Department of Health alert is meant for those working in the healthcare field, they are advising the public to be aware of symptoms and urge especially parents to act quickly if their children have these symptoms:

  • fever
  • headache
  • stiff neck
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • photophobia
  • altered mental status

If the infection reaches the bloodstream, these are the symptoms the Missouri Department of Health says to watch for:

  • fever and chills
  • fatigue
  • vomiting
  • cold hands and feet
  • severe aches and pains
  • rapid breathing
  • diarrhea
  • in later stages, a dark purple rash

For Meningococcal disease, they warn that "fatality rate of 10–15% even with appropriate antibiotic treatment"

The bulletin from the state of Missouri health officials seems directed to the public to raise awareness of warning signs of the infection's presence so that treatment can be sought quickly before more serious results become possible. I would recommend checking out their advisory for more details and potential updates.

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