Health Dept. Investigating Death of MTA Worker From Presumed Meningitis

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A rare disease has claimed the life of an MTA worker. He died from bacterial meningitis.

Adam May has more on the message from the health department.

Even though this man may have come in close contact with numerous people, health officials say the public shouldn’t be concerned.

A Maryland Transit Administration employee co-workers identify as a 46-year-old bus driver passed away from a rare bacteria called meningococcus, which can cause meningitis.

“After consulting with experts at the State Health Department and CDC, we have determined there is virtually no public health risk from this infection and sad and unfortunate event,” said City Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot.

Barbot says bus passengers should not be alarmed.

“The thing about this particular bacteria is that it’s not spread by airborne transmission.  You have to be close enough to transmit saliva for there to be the possibility of infection,” said Barbot.

Other bus drivers at the Kirk Avenue depot where the driver worked are wearing black ribbons in honor of their deceased co-worker.

“He’s gonna be missed around here,” said another driver.

Drivers say the man was friendly and always waved when he drove by other buses.

Co-workers are being offered grief counseling.  His family is being treated with preventative antibiotics.

Last year, Maryland had nine confirmed cases of meningitis.

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