Senior staff at Mascalls Academy in Paddock Wood, Tonbridge, have contacted staff, students and parents, offering reassurance that "additional outbreaks are highly unlikely", and providing information about the signs and symptoms of meningitis.
A statement released by the school said, “We have been notified that a member of the Mascalls teaching staff has been hospitalised in the last 24 hours with bacterial meningitis and septicaemia. As you will appreciate, this is a serious condition and as a result the school has taken medical advice and notified the various authorities so that they are aware of the outbreak.”
“For the wider school population we have been advised that no specific precautions are necessary but it is essential that everyone is aware of the symptoms and they seek immediate medical advice should they experience them.”
Common signs and symptoms of meningitis include fever, vomiting, drowsiness, confusion, severe muscle pain, severe headache, stiff neck, dislike of bright lights, convulsions / seizures, pale / blotchy skin and spots / rash.
The school remains open as normal and staff will be holding briefing sessions for students – with a focus on those who may have been taught recently by the teacher - to answer any questions, provide information and encourage them to be "extra vigilant of any symptoms".
Dr Tom Nutt, CEO of Meningitis Now, said, “We are sad to learn of this case at Mascalls Academy, but it highlights a really important issue surrounding meningitis – that it can affect anyone.”
“People often think of meningitis as a childhood disease, and although under 5s are the most at-risk age group, this recent case serves as an important reminder that it does affect adults too”.
If you are concerned that you or someone you know may be suffering from meningitis, seek medical help immediately.