15 Dec 2009

Meningococcal disease kills schoolgirl

6:38 pm on 15 December 2009

A teenage Taranaki girl has died from meningococcal disease.

Staff and students of Waitara High School learned the girl, 17, had taken ill last Thursday.

She died in hospital on Friday, just after the school held its junior prizegiving.

The school's principal, Jenny Gellen, says although the term has finished, students were at the school on Tuesday to support one another and prepare a kapa haka routine they will perform at the funeral on Wednesday.

She says the tight-knit community is in shock at the death of a gifted young sportswoman.

Taranaki's medical officer of health says there are no continuing public health concerns.

Dr Greg Simmons says all those in close contact with the girkl have been given preventive medication.