ELK GROVE -- Last Wednesday, parents say they received a letter from the Elk Grove Unified School District notifying them that a staff member was diagnosed with meningococcal disease.
"The staff member was working with students in a classroom," said EGUSD Director of Communications Xanthi Pinkerton.
The district notified the parents of 36 children in two classes, along with 13 faculty members, who may have come in close contact with the staff member before symptoms became apparent.
Meningococcal disease is a bacterial infection that can cause serious swelling of the brain and spinal cord. It spreads through person-to-person contact.
"As a mom and a nurse, it is a little bit alarming," said Melissa Hines, whose son is in preschool at James McKee Elementary School in Elk Grove.
Elizabeth Ramirez’s 3-year-old son attends a special needs class at James McKee. She told FOX40 on Tuesday the news was a bit jarring to her.
"I would think that the whole school should know," she told FOX40. "She has access to the whole school;. So to me, that would be something, as a parent, I would rather ... you're in kindergarten, preschool or six grade, I would want to know."
The employee’s last day at work was April 30 and they will not return until fully recovered.
The school district says those who believe they’ve been infected should immediately get to a doctor. An antibiotic is usually the best protection.
"You should do that if you feel that you were compromised or that your family could potentially be compromised," Pinkerton said.
"So, I feel that the school district did exactly what they were supposed to do, exactly what they needed to do, in order to make sure that everybody was safe," Hines said.