Catholic News - Catholic Telecommunications, a devision of Catholic Resources
  Powered by Freefind


Communicants in Texas run little risk of exposure to meningitis

The death of a woman from bacterial meningitis two days after drinking wine from the chalice as an Arlington church has caused safety fears in the Texas community.

But health officials said parishioners who drank wine from the chalice during a 30 December morning Mass at St. Vincent de Paul Church in the city are considered to be at an "extremely remote risk of contracting bacterial meningitis," even though a woman who drank from the chalice died two days later of one form of the disease.

Linda Pfleger, a 49-year-old elementary school teacher from Arlington who developed meningococcemia during the weekend of 29 December, died 12 hours after being brought to the hospital of multiple complications and infections from the disease.

Her memorial service took place on Thursday at the same Church. Tarrant County Public Health Department officials released a statement last Wednesday saying that anyone who drank from the chalice during the 9:15 a.m. on 30 December and had symptoms of low-grade fever, headache and stiff neck within the week should consult their physician to possibly obtain a two-day series of antibiotics that can reduce the risk of infection.