Ozone Park school community on alert after a reported meningitis case

A 3D microscope close-up of meningitis bacteria, also known as meningococcus.
Photo via Shutterstock

A child at P.S. 63 (The Old South School) in Ozone Park has contracted meningitis, a potentially deadly brain infection, according to a report published on Friday afternoon.

The New York Daily News reported that parents at the school located at 90-15 Sutter Ave. were informed of the illness in a letter that the Health Department sent home with students on Thursday, March 30.

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) confirmed to QNS that just one child at P.S. 63 has become infected with bacterial meningitis.

“The safety and well-being of students is our top priority,” according to a statement from the DOHMH. “Cases of the meningococcal disease are extremely rare in New York City and we are working closely with the DOE (Department of Education) to notify families with children at the school. Out of an abundance of caution, we recommended medication to classmates and staff who may have had close contact with the child, and are closely monitoring the situation.”

Bacterial meningitis, which causes inflammation of the brain and/or spinal cord, can be easily treated with antibiotics, the Health Department noted, however, it can become fatal if left untreated.

Parents are advised to monitor their children for possible meningitis symptoms, including fever, headache, vomiting, stiff neck and a rash. Contact your child’s physician immediately if they develop symptoms.

QNS reached out to the DOE for comment and is awaiting a response.

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