Bacterial meningitis blamed for Pasco toddler's death - WFLA News Channel 8

Bacterial meningitis blamed for Pasco toddler's death

Posted: Updated:
Amonti Saunders Amonti Saunders
HOLIDAY, FL (WFLA) - The Pasco County Health Department has confirmed that bacterial meningitis played a role in the death of a 4-year-old boy.

Amonti Saunders' family says he came down with a fever Saturday evening. His mother gave him medicine to control it.

"When they woke up in the morning - he still had a fever and came crawling out of the room... just complaining that his legs were hurting him," said Miranda Hill, his cousin. "When our friend looked at him, he had blotches all over his face, turning purple and his eyes were turning bloodshot."

Hill said the family rushed Amonti to a fire station nearby.

"When they got to the fire station they said they'd never seen anything like it before," she said. "He kept saying his head was hurting him. He just wanted his mom to rub his feet."

Amonti made it to the hospital, but kept fading.

"His tongue started swelling and his heart just started shutting down," Hill said.

Doctors fought to save Amonti in the trauma unit, but not a day after he came down with a fever, he was gone.

"It was 12 hours - not even - and he was gone," Hill said. "We just want to know how this could happen. I have two children - I have a 6 and a 5 year old. It could've been any of our kids and it's devastating it was someone in our family, but we want to know where is this coming from?"

Family members said they received shots to help prevent them from getting it and that others who came in contact with Amonti also received treatment. Out of caution, administrators at Amonti's daycare, Safari Christian School, closed Monday to clean the rooms and take precautions.

According to the Centers for Disease Control And Prevention, meningitis infection may show up in a person by a sudden onset of fever, headache, and stiff neck. Other symptoms can include:

•Nausea

•Vomiting

•Increased sensitivity to light (photophobia)

•Altered mental status (confusion)

The CDC says the symptoms of bacterial meningitis can appear quickly or over several days. Typically they develop within three to seven days after exposure.

According to the CDC, later symptoms of bacterial meningitis can be very severe like seizures or a coma.

To read more about meningitis, click here.

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