FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Nearly 500 people were given preventative antibiotics after a case of meningococcal disease was found at St. Joseph Central Elementary School in December, and 100 percent of all close contacts were identified and treated, according to a Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health report released Tuesday.
It was Dec. 11 when a case of meningococcal disease was discovered at St. Joseph Central Elementary, 6341 St Joe Center Road. The health department said the disease was found “in someone who was present” at the Fort Wayne Community Schools building.
NewsChannel 15 learned later that person was a staff member at the school and not a student.
In a final report on the case released Tuesday, the health department said the infected patient indeed tested positive for Neisseria Meningitis. That patient has since been released from medical care and is now recovering, the department said.
Treatment extended far beyond that “localized” case, though. While the health department said from the outset that the case was not a concern to the community, a free clinic was established at the school for health department officials to dispense preventative antibiotics.
The health department said it dispensed that antibiotic – prophylaxis – to 496 people in total, including 449 people at the clinic, according to Tuesday’s report. One hundred percent of all close contacts were identified and treated, the report said.
A hotline was also established by the health department to answer questions from the public. It received 56 calls in two days, the report said.
All told, the event cost the health department, Fort Wayne Community Schools and Parkview Pharmacy more than $18,000, the report said.