Published On: Fri, Nov 16th, 2012

South Florida man, Bryant De La Cruz, dies from bacterial meningitis

For the second time in as many months, a South Florida man has succumbed to the rapidly fatal disease, bacterial meningitis, according to Miami-Dade County Health officials today.

Bryant De La Cruz Photo/Video Screen Shot

Health officials say, 25-year-old Bryant De La Cruz died Tuesday morning, just hours after first being admitted and discharged from Baptist Hospital in Miami, according to the local CBS affiliate, CBS 12.

He was initially discharged from the hospital with a diagnosis of viral pharyngitis. However, his condition worsened and he passed on his way back to the hospital according to family members.

One month ago, Coral Reef High School student, 18-year-old Christopher Valdes, died from meningococcal meningitis.

According to a CBS Miami report, De La Cruz’s uncle, Hans Martinez said they plan to have a viewing and service in Miami before they send his remains to his mother and father in Colombia.

Meningococcal meningitis is caused by the bacterium,Neisseria meningitidis, which causes the most severe form of bacterial meningitis. Meningitis is an infection of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. It can also be found in the bloodstream. This particular type of meningitis is very severe and can result in death if not treated promptly. Even in cases where treatment has been given, the fatality rate is around 15%.

The symptoms of bacterial meningitis are sudden, with fever, stiff neck, body aches and headaches. As the disease progresses othersymptoms may include nausea, vomiting, photophobia and seizures. A petechial rash seen on the trunk and lower extremities, bleeding complications, multi-organ failures and shock are usually final signs. This disease has the ability to kill within hours of getting it.

Up to 10-20% of older children and young adults carry this organism in the mouth and nose, though the carriage rate will vary with age and closeness of population. The majority of people that carry this bacterium have no clinical disease. The organism is spread person to person through respiratory secretions from the nose and mouth (coughing, sneezing and kissing). Experts are unsure why some people advance to meningitis disease while many do not.

Crowded living conditions facilitate the spread of the organisms and places like military barracks and college dormitories are well documented areas of concern with this disease.

Prevention of this disease is by vaccination. Meningococcal vaccines protect against most types of meningococcal disease, but they do not prevent all cases.

If you have close contact with someone with meningococcal meningitis, see your doctor for prophylactic antibiotics.

Meningococcal meningitis is a devastating disease with epidemic potential. This disease is considered a medical emergency and if you have the classic symptoms see your health care professional. It can be treated with antibiotics, but without delay.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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