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Bay County Health Dept. Investigating Suspected Case Of Meningitis

Florida Health officials are awaiting the test results from a Bay County woman suspected of having meningitis. If confirmed, she would be the first reported case of the year for the area.

So far, this year there have been no reported cases of meningitis in Bay County. But, the County’s Health Department’s Laura McKinney says a suspected case was reported to her department Monday.

“Well, it’s in a 60-year-old woman. And, it’s still a suspect case. We’re waiting for the culture to come back from the lab to do a confirmatory. It’s important that we know what type of bacteria this is. This is the meningococcus bacteria, but there’s several strains. So, we’re waiting to see exactly what the bacteria is,” said McKinney, the department's Public Health Services Manager.

McKinney says symptoms of bacterial meningitis come on rather suddenly, and catching it early means a better chance of recovery. Symptoms can include a stiff neck, fever, and vomiting. In rare cases, it could be fatal. McKinney says it could take a couple of days to confirm the results of the suspected case. She adds for now, there is no threat to the public at this time.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on twitter @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.