LELAND (WWJ/AP) – A 12-year-old girl from northwestern Lower Michigan has died from complications of meningitis.

The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports Alexandra “Allee” Romeo of Cedar died Sunday at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids.

The Leland Public School sixth-grader contracted an ear infection two weeks ago that turned into a rare form of pneumococcal meningitis.

Leland Superintendent Jason Stowe said Allee became ill just after she finished choreographing her classmates in the school’s spring dance concert.

When pain from her ear infection escalated on Friday, Allee’s family took her to the emergency room. A spinal tap showed the pneumococcus bacteria had traveled to her brain, causing meningitis.

Allee was flown to Grand Rapids and died Sunday morning. A memorial service will be held Monday in the Leland High School gym.

Michigan Department of Community Health spokeswoman Angela  Minicuci says parents won’t always see symptoms of meningitis in their kids — but she said anyone who experiences the sudden onset of a fever or headache should immediatly seek medical attention.

Minicuci said meningities is passed by direct contact from the nose or throat of a person already infected.  The best thing to do is wash your hands with warm, soapy water.

Allee’s is the second confirmed meningitis death in Michigan this spring.  Last month, 19-year-old Nicholas Collins of Livonia died after he tested positive for bacterial meningitis. He was a freshman at Central Michigan University.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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