The Alabama Department of Public Health is clarifying a previous statement it made Tuesday saying a suspected case of Neisseria meninigitidis was discovered at Andalusia Regional Hospital, not at Mizell Memorial Hospital in Opp.
"Our investigation is very early and we are only aware of one person in the Covington County area with what appears to be a bacterial illness based on the initial information that we have at this time," said State Epidemiologist Dr. Mary McIntyre. "We apologize for the confusion..."
Dr. McIntyre says they are still waiting for confirmation on test results from the field and state lab but believe the man who died at Andalusia Regional Hospital had a case of Neisseria meninigitidis. That case was initially reported to ADPH but was attributed incorrectly to Opp.
Dr. McIntyre says Neisseria meninigitidis can only be passed through close contact with an infected person. It can not be passed through water. She adds that it is something children are vaccinated for as part of routine childhood immunizations. Though several cases are confirmed each year, they usually occur in older people or children who haven't been immunized.
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