Paterson man with bacterial meningitis dies; health alert issued

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PATERSON -

Paterson and state health officials issued an alert for anyone who may have come into close contact with a city man who was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis.

Health officials say 27-year-old Jameek Lowery is suspected to have had the illness. They are urging those who were close to him to get antibiotic treatment.

Dr. Harabalos Zacharatos says that while bacterial meningitis can be deadly, “Not often do you get a massive outbreak in a population. Bacterial meningitis is a contagious disease."

"If a person is felt to be in contact with somebody because they have saliva that has been put on them or they share the same cup that somebody with known bacterial meningitis has drank from, there is a medication that they can be put on to prophylactically treat them to prevent the progression of bacterial meningitis,” says Dr. Zacharatos.

Dr. Zacharatos emphasizes that it has to be close contact. He says that it is not like measles, which can live on surfaces for hours.

"If you are in the same building or not in direct contact, it's less likely that you will be exposed or risk,” he says.

RELATED: Source: Man who died after encounter with Paterson police had spinal meningitis

Lowery died Monday, two days after he filmed himself on Facebook Live early Saturday morning at the Paterson Police Headquarters. Lowery was supposedly there to seek help after taking ecstasy. He appeared to be acting erratic and paranoid in the video.

Officers called him an ambulance, but officials admit that they used force on the man to restrain him during the trip to the hospital. When they arrived, Lowery was unresponsive.

Lowery’s family has claimed he was the victim of police brutality.

An official cause of death has not yet been released to the public.

City officials say that Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh received antibiotic treatment as a precaution because he himself had contact with Lowery a few days before he died.

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