Parris Island recruit diagnosed with meningitis
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  1. #1

    Cool Parris Island recruit diagnosed with meningitis

    Parris Island recruit diagnosed with meningitis
    Published Fri, Jan 14, 2005

    Gazette staff writer
    A Parris Island recruit was diagnosed Monday with bacterial meningitis, a contagious disease that can lead to seizures, brain damage and death if left untreated.
    The unidentified male recruit, expected to make a full recovery, was taken to Naval Hospital Beaufort after showing symptoms of the disease during a routine sick call Monday morning, according to a Parris Island release.

    "I can comment that he is in stable condition," said Patricia Binns, spokeswoman for the Naval hospital, where the recruit is recovering.

    Meningitis is an infection of the fluid of the spinal cord and the fluid that surrounds the brain.

    Bacterial meningitis is considered more severe than viral meningitis, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site.

    Bacterial meningitis is spread through direct respiratory contact with an infected person. Symptoms include discomfort in the neck or upper back, fever, headaches, confusion, sleepiness, sensitivity to light, vomiting or nausea, and in extreme cases, can include seizures, neurological defects and death.

    Symptoms can develop over several hours or may take one to two days, according to the CDC.

    Because up to 25 percent of the population can carry meningitis without ever showing signs of the disease, it's hard to pinpoint how or when the recruit contracted it, said Maj. Ken White, Parris Island's public affairs officer.

    "Occasionally you'll have a person who contracts the active infection from someone who's a carrier," he said. "You just don't know."

    About 140 people, including training and medical staff and fellow recruits who had been in close contact with the infected recruit, were administered antibiotics as a precaution, White said.

    The infected recruit, who had been at the depot for a little less than two weeks, exhibited many of the classic symptoms, he said.

    He is expected to return to training once he recovers, although there is no timeline yet, he said.

    All recruits receive inoculations against certain strains of meningitis upon arrival at Parris Island, but that vaccine doesn't prevent against all strains of the disease, according to the depot release.

    Drill instructors check if any recruits need medical attention every morning, White said. The drill instructors are instructed by Navy medical personnel on signs to look for to identify possible infectious disease cases, he said.

    Contact Michael Kerr at 986-5539 or

    The Drifter's Wife


  2. #2
    If I remember correctly there was another meningitis case at 1st BN on Parris Island, sometime within 2000-2002. I can't remember the exact time, a Drill Instructor had it, and I beleive he died from it. I don't know the specifics about the case. If anyone else remembers this, please correct me if I'm wrong.

  3. #3
    I also remember a recruit having it about a year ago. Supposedly he had meningitis, and they administered penicilin. The recruit was allergic to penicilin, and died. I myself am alergic to penicilin, so when I was at PI last summer they issued me these red dog tags to put on my boots that said I was. They take it very seriously. I got cellulitis while I was there too. That sucked real bad. I claimed the title though so Im good to go.

  4. #4
    James F. Owings
    Guest Free Member
    In the late 1960s there were many deaths from meningitis in Army recruit training facilities. I believe that one facility in California shut down for some months.

    At MCRD San Diego in late August 1968 there was a case. I do not believe the lad died, but his platoon (don't remember #, was in 3rd Battalion) right on top of graduation was quarantined in their immediate quonset hut area for a couple of weeks.

    They were carried on the rolls as "Graduate Casuals" though they had no dealings with that group. For a few hours a day a D.I. would give them some PT and lessons out of the Guidebook. The rest of the day was theirs.

    Recruits in other platoons marching by saw a sight that they could not explain (nobody briefed them...) As they passed within site of the roped in areas they saw what they believed to be just another recruit platoon... but with bloused trousers, open collars, and a "salty" look, lounging in the sun.

    These odd "recruits" were playing horseshoes, drinking bottles of soda pop, and some were reading comic books. Many were smoking cigarettes.

    I am sure that many of the unenlightened recruits witnessing this sight from their side of the ropes must have thought... "Boy, did I wind up in the wrong platoon... ... ..."


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