HEALTH chiefs today urged parents to send their children to school as normal but be on their guard after meningitis claimed the life of a Wirral teenager.
The Health Protection Agency (HPA) and NHS chiefs in Wirral issued the advice following the tragic death of Birkenhead High School Academy student Daisy Metcalfe.
The 15-year-old from Wallasey, a much loved pupil with a flair for music, died surrounded by family in hospital on Friday.
She was killed by bacterial infection pneumococcal meningitis which causes inflammation of the lining around the brain and spinal cord.
As well as offering support to grieving classmates, the school has issued Health Protection Agency advice to stress to parents that “the risk of this infection being passed on is extremely low”.
And today the advice was reiterated by health officials who stress pneumococcal meningitis is not infectious and there is no reason to keep children off school.
Dr Nicola Schinaia, a consultant with the HPA’s Cheshire and Merseyside Health Protection Unit, said: “This is desperately sad and our hearts go out to the girl’s family.
“Pneumococcal infection is comparatively rare and meningitis caused by the pneumococcal bacteria is extremely rare.
“However, everyone should be aware of the symptoms to look out for and of the need to take urgent action whenever a case is suspected.”