Montcalm Co. infant dies of suspected bacterial infection

STANTON, Mich. (WOOD) — An infant in Montcalm County may have died due to complications of Haemophilus influenza type b Meningitis, or “Hib” Meningitis, according to the Mid-Michigan District Health Department.

According to health officials, the infant was taken to a facility in Mecosta County Thursday to be checked out. The child was treated and released with minor, flu-like symptoms. But those worsened rapidly and the child died later in the evening.

The infant was taken to Sparrow in Lansing Friday for an autopsy. The results suggested the cause of death may be Meningitis.

There is a Hib vaccine available for children at the age of 2 months. Health officials don’t know if the infant had the vaccine.

The Mid-Michigan District Health Department is asking that if you or your children may have had contact with the child — call your doctor immediately. However, they are not releasing the name of the one-year-old infant due to privacy concerns.

“It won’t completely satisfy people but legally it’s what we have to do. We can’t release the name or even the specific geographic location,” said Marcus Cheatham, a health officer for the MMDHD.

“But the thing that should reassure people — it’s only intimate contact. You have to do something like kiss the baby to get the disease. So you’ll know the family real well, and you will have heard if the baby died. People don’t need to worry that this is some random thing. That’s not it. You’d know this family,” said Cheatham.

Haemophilus influenza is a bacterium that can cause a severe infection, occurring mostly in infants and children younger than five years of age. It can cause disability and be deadly, according to the MMDHD.

It is incredibly rare. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, this type of Meningitis occurs in less than two out of 100,000 kids.

The MMDHD says Haemophilus influenza causes different symptoms, depending on which part of the body is affected. The most common types of diseases are pneumonia, bacteremia and meningitis.

24 Hour News 8 did speak in length Friday with a woman who has been in close contact with the family. She tells WOOD TV8 the family is asking for complete privacy at this time.

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