MENINGITIS killed five-year-old Ellie-Jo Ellesmere just four days after she started feeling ill.
A funeral service was held for Ellie-Jo, of Ellesmere Port, last Wednesday (March 31) after she died suddenly from the illness at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital on Friday, March 19.
Ellie-Jo attended Cambridge Road Community Primary School.
A post-mortem examination established a strain of meningitis was present in her body. But it is not believed to have been the highly contagious form that would have sparked a public health warning from Western Cheshire Primary Care Trust.
Sarah Johnson Griffiths, a consultant at the trust, said: “When people think of meningitis they think of meningitis C. But lots of different infections can cause meningitis.
“It’s safe to assume it’s not a transmissable form.”
Ms Johnson-Griffiths added that the health protection agency receives all lab reports of transmissable illnesses and if warnings need to be issued they inform the local authorities. In this case, that did not happen.
A day after Ellie-Jo’s funeral, the government introduced a new vaccine into the NHS childhood immunisation programme that will offer greater protection against pneumococcal meningitis, the most deadly form of bacterial meningitis, and tackle 13 strains of the disease.
Meningitis kills more children under five than any other infectious disease in the UK.
Under-fives and those aged 15 -25 are most at risk, particularly if their immune system is weakened and about 300 people die from bacterial meningitis every year in the UK.
Cambridge Road headteacher Gill Lloyd said her tragic death has left the whole school shocked and saddened.
She added: “Most of all, we will remember her for that smile – a smile that could always light up the room.”