WHEATLAND, PA. Baby with meningitis making rapid recovery
Everyone who had contact with the family had to be treated.
By HAROLD GWIN
VINDICATOR SHARON BUREAU
WHEATLAND, Pa. -- Aalyha Vasconi isn't a fussy baby.
So when she woke up screaming every 15 minutes Saturday night, her parents, Howard and Diana Vasconi of Chestnut Street, knew something was wrong.
They took 7-month-old Aalyha to Sharon Regional Health System's hospital that night and she was diagnosed with having a viral infection.
Treatment didn't produce the appropriate results, however, and after Aalyha began refusing to eat and didn't want to wake up, her parents contacted their doctor Monday, said Suzanne Vasconi, Howard's mother and the baby's grandmother.
The doctor sent them back to Sharon Regional for a spinal tap and the results showed Aalyha had bacterial meningitis, Suzanne Vasconi said.
She was transferred immediately to Forum Health Tod Children's Hospital, Youngstown, where she has been undergoing treatment and is improving rapidly, Suzanne Vasconi said.
"She is doing a lot better. It was pretty touchy the first couple of nights," she said. She's pretty alert now. She's laughing and smiling."
The hospital refused to release any information about the child today.
Aalyha, Howard and Diana's only child, could be discharged from the hospital as early as Tuesday, Suzanne Vasconi said.
Bacterial meningitis is highly contagious and everyone who came into contact with the family within an eight-day period preceding the diagnosis had to be treated with antibiotics, she said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta says meningitis is an infection of the fluid in the spinal cord and around the brain.
The viral form is less severe and normally the patient recovers without any treatment.
Bacterial is more dangerous and can cause brain damage, hearing loss or even death.
Antibiotics can be used to treat the disease and keep it from spreading to others who have been in contact with the ill person.
Common symptoms are high fever, a stiff neck and headaches, but babies often don't exhibit those symptoms. Nausea, listlessness and sleepiness can also be symptoms found in infants.