(Update: The Life Time Fitness employee, Kristy Malter, died on July 14, according to a July 17 Detroit Free Press report citing the Macomb County Health Department and a funeral home obituary. Malter's death was reported last week by several outlets citing unconfirmed sources.)
A Life Time Fitness day camp employee in Michigan who contracted bacterial meningitis is on life support as officials warn other employees and the families of children who may have come in contact with her to get tested, according to media reports.
The employee was identified as Kristy Malter, 21, according to Detroit Free Press and FOX 29 reports. Both news outlets reported Malter was on life support Thursday as unconfirmed reports of her death surfaced on social media and other news organizations.
The Oakland County Health Division (OCHD) is in the process of identifying and contacting those who may have had close contact with her, including staff and day camp attendees at the Life Time Fitness in Rochester Hills, Michigan, from July 1-11, according to a media release that did not identify Malter due to privacy laws. As many as 213 children and 39 employees could have been exposed, according to ClickOnDetroit and the Free Press, citing health officials. The OCHD announced the case to the public on Wednesday.
The Rochester Hills Life Time Fitness has notified members about the case.
"Life Time was notified of a clinically diagnosed case of Meningococcal Disease, specifically at Life Time Fitness Rochester Hills," a Facebook post reads. "We are notifying you about this situation out of an abundance of caution and to ensure we openly communicate with all members."
A request from Club Industry to Life Time's corporate headquarters on Thursday seeking comment for this story was not returned.
Those affected in this case are advised to seek post-exposure treatment even if vaccinations have been received previously. Symptoms could be exhibited any time up until July 21, according to the OCHD release.
"Bacterial meningitis is a serious illness that can develop quickly but also can be prevented through antibiotics after exposure," Dr. Pamela Hackert, chief of medical services for the Health Division, said in a statement. "People who have been contacted by Life Time Fitness and told that they have potentially been a contact to this case should receive antibiotics immediately."
Malter is a student at Central Michigan University and a member of Alpha Gamma Delta sorority, according to her Twitter profile.
She pinned this March tweet to the top of her account:
My goal in life is to help every person I meet realize how truly special they are. ❤️— kristy (@kristymalter) March 23, 2016
The germs that cause bacterial meningitis are spread from person to person through the exchange of respiratory and throat secretions during close or lengthy contact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms include sudden onset of fever, headache and stiff neck with additional symptoms that can include nausea, vomiting, photophobia (increased sensitivity to light) and altered mental status, according to the CDC.
Bacterial meningitis can cause death, but most people with meningitis recover, according to the CDC. Permanent disabilities such as brain damage, hearing loss and learning disabilities can result from the infection.