BOSTON - Two young children have tested positive for meningococcal disease, which could be meningitis or a couple of other infections related to the meningococcal bacteria, according to the Boston Public Health Commission.
All those who were in close contact with the children have been advised to start antibiotics.
"It’s serious if it’s not caught early, and this is, anytime you’re dealing with antibiotics obviously it’s serious, you want to make sure that our young people are safe in Boston, and that’s why we put out a health advisory," said Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.
Health officials said the two children attend day care centers for children who may be homeless, but it was not made immediately clear whether the cases were connected or not.
City officials said the two children who have contracted the disease had last been at the day care centers on Oct. 18.
Meningococcal disease stems from a bacterial infection that spreads from person to person through saliva.
If left untreated, the disease could turn into meningitis, which could harm the brain. Officials maintain that the best way to prevent the disease is by vaccinating against it.
"I personally get vaccinated for all my shots it’s really up to the individual, some people don’t like doing that – I think in some cases it’s better to be safe than sorry, but again that’s a family decision.," said Mayor Walsh.
According to the Boston Public Health Commission, the "time from exposure to developing symptoms is between one to 10 days and usually less than four days. Symptoms develop rapidly and include nausea, vomiting, increased sensitivity to light and altered mental status or confusion."
Meningococcal disease has been fairly uncommon recently, where only 10 to 15 cases have been reported across the state each year.
Anyone with questions about meningococcal disease can call the BPHC at 617-534-5611.
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