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Dublin: 7 °C Sunday 17 November, 2019
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School principal speaks of 'terrible tragedy' after young girl dies from suspected meningitis

A second child was also said to be in a critical condition.

The children were taken to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.
The children were taken to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Rollingnews.ie

THE DEATH OF young girl from suspected meningitis in the Navan area has been called a “terrible tragedy” by her school principal.

The death of Kayla Carey, who was in senior infants at Scoil Mhuire in Navan, was confirmed yesterday by the HSE which said it was due to suspected meningococcal meningitis.

A second child from the same school who was also hospitalised with suspected meningitis was said to be in a critical condition.

The HSE has said that its medical experts are working closely with the school and are advising and supporting parents, guardians and teachers.

The school’s principal Colm Devlin said yesterday that the death of Kayla Carey will affect the entire community.

“This is a terrible tragedy for her family, our school and the whole community. We are deeply saddened by this turn of events. Our sympathy and thoughts are with Kayla’s family and friends,” the principal said.

Offers of support have been pouring in and are greatly appreciated. Our school have implemented our critical incident management plan. Psychologists from the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) will be with us supporting and advising the teachers in their efforts to assist our students at this time.

Devlin also said that the school is open to parents to offer them advice and that teachers will help students through the tragic event.

In a statement yesterday, the HSE said that it is “obviously very much aware of the anxiety that is being experienced locally” but that the spread of meningococcal meningitis from person to person “is very unusual”.

Signs and symptoms of the condition include a high fever, drowsiness, a rash, discomfort from bright light and a stiff neck.

The HSE is advising parents in the area to seek a GP if their child is exhibiting even minor symptoms but not to attend just for a check-up.

Further information including data on the occurrence of meningitis and symptoms are available on the HSE’s website.

Read: A young girl has died in suspected meningitis outbreak >

Read: HSE paramedic changes plea to guilty over assaulting two female students by putting them in choke hold >

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Rónán Duffy

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