I spent 30 minutes on the phone today with Debra Jensen from the Davis County Health Department. Because streptococcus pneumoniae meningitis is an infectious disease it is automatically reported to the health department to track outbreaks. She asked a few demographic questions and then read over some material they have regarding the bacteria. Some of it we may have already posted but some may be new information. They generally see this in the winter and early spring usually in people that are immunocompromised (like transplant patients) or have other health problems (like heart complications or diabetics). Seniors and young children are more prone to this bacterium because their immune systems are usually not as good at fighting it. For some reason African Americans are more prone as well. The bacterium is spread by airborne droplets or direct exposure. People with healthy immune systems can be carriers and not have any symptoms. Symptoms of the strep pneumo bacteria are rapid fever onset, ear infections. shaking, flu-like chills, headache, shortness of breath, disorientation from hyper-ventililation, occasionally stiff neck, pneumonia. The treatment is antibiotics. After 48 hours of antibiotics it is no longer contagious. Probability of death is higher if under the age of 2. Humans are the only reservoir for these bacteria to grow so it is difficult to do research.She also gave me a couple statistics about Davis County. Charlie is the 1st infant she has seen with this since she has been there (only a couple years). I don’t think I like being 1st anymore. So far this season there has been one other adolescent and several senior citizens. A few years ago Davis County had a severe season for streptococcus pneumoniae and had 8. Utah’s vaccinations that children receive at 2, 4 and 6 months only cover 7 of the 99 strains. The seven that are included are supposed to be the worst strains. Charlie’s sample was tested against the 7 that are covered in the vaccine and was found to be different then the seven. They will be able to do more extensive testing next week. There is also a vaccination that is given to adults or immunocompromised children (2 yrs and older) that covers 23 strains. I am told by another source that other states and countries have increased the amount of strains in their routine children’s vaccine to expand the range of protection.
Britt was the first to sign his letter to Cooper's new casts! Today has been pretty calm in Charlie's world. He woke up at 3:30 and started a small storm (HR only got up to 188). He was sweating so bad that his EKG lead came off but no fever. He recieved Clonadine at 4:00 and was back to sleep by 4:20.