Parents concerned, taking children to doctors after bacterial meningitis case at gym

UPDATE: Fox 2 has learned the gym employee with bacteria meningitis has died. You can continue reading more here

Melanie Hatzfeld's 6-year-old son, Stone, is one of the 219 kids who possibly became exposed to bacterial meningitis after attending the day camp at Lifetime Fitness in Rochester Hills.

Hatzfield says got a very vague call Wednesday evening alerting her to the situation. Health officials later announced it was an employee who was diagnosed with the disease, an infection that can cause inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. It can be life threatening if not treated quickly with antibiotics.

"The disease is not spread through casual contact or simply by being in the same room with the infected person. A person must have direct contact with an infected persons saliva or nasal secretions," says Kathy Forzley with the Oakland County Health Department.

Since the woman, who is not being identified because of privacy laws, worked in Oakland County but lived in Macomb County, health departments in both areas are working closely to get the word out about the potential danger.

The kids, ages five to 12, possibly came into contact with the Lifetime Fitness day camp counselor from July 1-11.

Health experts are now in the process of trying to track them all down and making sure their families have tlhe warning signs down. They include fever, headache, a stiff neck, vomitting and even seizures.

"If any of these signs or symptoms should develop, the individual should be taken to a physician or emergency room to be evaluated for possible meninogoccal disease," said Dr. Pamela Hackert with the Oakland County Health Department.

Roughly 200,000 cases of bacterial meningitis are in the United States every year. This number isn't settling well with some parents who rely on Lifetime Fitness to care after their kids while they are at work.

Hatzfield immediately brought her son to the emergency room to get checked out and he's now on antibiotics.

It's a situation that has her concerned for her child and for the way she found out. She feels more should have been done.

"I pay over 100 bucks to come here a month, then 250 a week for my kids to go here. That's a lot of money; I expect top of the line service," she says. "As a parent, I have to fill out all the emergency paperwork; I have to sign waivers. If he gets hurt on the rock wall, or while swimming - but when it happened to them, that their person got sick, they just act as if, oh, we can't say anything."

Hatzfield tells FOX 2's Robin Murdoch when she took her son to the emergency room, about 20 other kids from the camp were also there.

FOX 2 did reach out to the corporate office of Lifetime Fitness but did not receive an immediate response.