The North Dakota Department of Health was recently notified of one confirmed and one probable case of Kingella kingae at the Valley City Children’s Center.
City-County Health District Director, Theresa Will, RN, MPH and local health officer, Dr. James Buhr were notified because the illness reported was more serious than what usually occurs, the Health Department recommended antibiotics for all children attending this child care center. This public health action will help prevent the spread of this illness and prevent future cases. Parents of children in the child care received a letter and fact sheet about the situation on December 21st.
Kingella kingae is a bacteria that many young children carry in their throat or nasal passages that rarely causes severe disease and outbreaks in child care centers. Most children with Kingella kingae won’t have any symptoms or will have just minor respiratory symptoms. Occasionally, this bacteria can cause blood, bone, or joint infections or meningitis. It is spread person-to-person through respiratory secretions and saliva. Outbreaks associated with child care centers occur sporadically and are not known to be related to the care provided by centers.
This is the first reported cluster of this disease reported to the North Dakota Department of Health. “The risk of severe disease due to Kingella kingae is rare, however out of an abundance of caution, the NDDoH is recommending antibiotics to prevent future cases in this child care center,” says Theresa Will. “Most children ages four and older and adults are already immune to this Kingella kingae or will not develop symptoms if exposed. Children attending other child care centers or schools in Valley City are not recommended to receive antibiotics.”
A letter and fact sheet was sent to parents of children attending Valley City Children’s Center about the recommendation for antibiotics.