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Meningitis case not tied to girl’s death |

Meningitis case not tied to girl’s death

| Wednesday, October 1, 2003 12:00 a.m

The public should not be alarmed that a second death last week has been attributed to meningitis, Allegheny County Health Department officials said Tuesday.

Michael Fogdt, 42, of Litchfield, Ohio, was found dead Thursday in his room at the InTown Suites hotel along McKnight Road, Ross.

Tests results revealed yesterday that the cause of death was acute streptococcal meningitis, a form of bacterial meningitis, according to the Allegheny County Coroner’s Office.

“This is a minimally contagious form of meningitis,” Allegheny County Health Department spokesman Guillermo Cole said. “For that reason, there is no call for any public health measures to be taken, such as treating contacts with preventive medication.”

Dave Zazac, another Health Department spokesman, said people who came into contact with Fogdt are not in any danger.

“It was dangerous enough to kill this person, but it is not what we call the more virulent form, where close contacts need to be assessed and, if necessary, treated (with antibiotics),” Zazac said.

Cole said a 17-year-old North Side girl who died from meningitis Friday suffered from a different, nonbacterial, form of the disease.

“There is no connection whatsoever between these two,” he said.

Cole said the form of the disease that leads to public health action is the more contagious and more deadly meningococcal meningitis. That is a bacterial form of the disease, but different from what Fogdt had, Cole said.

Meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges membranes that envelop the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms include high fever, severe headache, a stiff neck, aching muscles, severe fatigue and a rash. Most people who come in contact with the disease never show any symptoms or get sick and can unwittingly transmit the disease, health experts say.

Ross police Detective William Barrett said Fogdt, who lived in northeast Ohio, was staying at the InTown Suites while working locally for the Bechtel Corp.

Barrett said Fogdt left work early on Wednesday because he was sick and he did not show up there Thursday.

“His wife tried to call him on Thursday several times, and he didn’t return any of her calls,” Barrett said. She then contacted Fogdt’s local supervisor, who called police. Police found Fogdt’s body on the motel room floor.

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