HEALTH bosses have issued an alert to parents after a child died after contracting meningitis.

Last month four-year-old Evie May from Radcliffe died suddenly after contracting meningococcal B meningitis (MenB) — a highly infectious bacterial strain of the disease and the leading cause of meningitis and septicaemia in UK children. 

This week Radcliffe Primary School sent home a letter to parents urging them to be vigilant for symptoms, explaining that a child at the nursery contracted meningococcal disease.  

However Public Health England have since confirmed that the child was Evie May.

The school's letter also sought to reassure parents and staff, and PHE have said they have received no other reports of children or staff at the nursery being unwell.

A PHE spokesman said: "We understand that there will be concern among parents and staff at the nursery, and we’d like to assure parents that the risk of another case arising in the nursery is very low. Meningococcal disease does not spread very easily. 

"We provided information to the nursery on the signs and symptoms of meningococcal infection, which can cause meningitis as well as septicaemia. Children and staff who are well have been advised to attend nursery as normal. 

"Although meningococcal disease is uncommon, people should be aware of the symptoms that can include a fever, headache, rapid breathing, drowsiness, shivering, vomiting and cold hands and feet. It can also cause a characteristic rash which does not fade when pressed against a glass.  Also, some people may experience diarrhoea and vomiting. 

"Early recognition of meningitis and septicaemia symptoms can greatly improve the outcome of the disease and so anyone who is concerned about any of these symptoms, at any time, should seek medical advice immediately or call NHS 111."

Following the death of Evie May, the Meningitis Research Foundation has further issued an urgent plea to parents to have their children vaccinated.

The MenB vaccine was introduced into the routine immunisation schedule for babies in 2015. 

However the charity has warned that only around one quarter of all cases occur in the people in the eligible age group for the vaccine, leaving many unprotected.

Linda Glennie, director of research at the charity, said: “We are very sad to learn that a four-year-old little girl has lost her life to meningococcal B meningitis. Our thoughts and condolences go out to Evie’s family and our support team is here for them.

“We encourage all parents to take up the offer of the vaccines that are included in the routine immunisation schedule for children to prevent some types of meningitis and septicaemia. However, there are not yet vaccines available to prevent all forms of the disease so it is vital that people are aware of the symptoms.”