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Officials from the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency suspect a kindergarten student at Poinsettia Elementary School in Carlsbad may have been infected with a bacteria known to lead to cerebrospinal meningitis.

Agency officials and representatives from Carlsbad Unified School District are asking that parents make sure their children have the necessary vaccinations and to look out for an onset of fever, headache, and other symptoms associated with the bacterial infection.

County health officials are not aware of any other students who may have contracted the disease since January 30, the student's last day at school.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the bacteria is transferred by throat and respiratory fluids but are not as contagious as the common cold. In most cases, the disease causes swelling around the spinal cord and brain and can lead to brain damage and loss of hearing; it is fatal if not caught early on.

“Meningococcal disease is spread through close contact with the ill person. Based on this student’s attendance dates, there is an extremely low risk of infections for anyone at the school,” says county public health officer Dr. Wilma Wooten.

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Image of Poinsettia Elementary School from school's website

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