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Young Camper Dies From Illness Meningitis Strain Suspected In Girl’s Death

A 7-year-old Seattle girl died at Sacred Heart Medical Center from an illness that developed during a family reunion and camp-out in Republic.

Randi Robertson was rushed to Spokane by helicopter, but died Friday evening just after 5 p.m.

Doctors told the girl’s family that she had likely contracted meningococcal meningitis, a rare but potentially fatal disease with early symptoms that mimic the flu.

A nursing supervisor at Sacred Heart and the county coroner’s office said the cause of the girl’s death couldn’t be confirmed until an autopsy is performed Monday.

The other family members who were at a Curlew Lake resort were treated with an antibiotic as a precaution.

The illness is a severe bacterial infection spread by direct contact with an infected person. Symptoms usually occur two to 10 days after exposure. It is most common in infants and children.

Randi’s grandfather, Kenneth Robertson, said about 30 members of the family had met at the campgrounds. Randi arrived Monday with her mother and seemed fine.

On Wednesday, though, she came down with a fever. The family thought it was just the flu.

On Thursday, she began to turn blue and had diarrhea. When Randi’s color darkened Friday morning, her father and grandfather rushed her to the hospital in Republic.

She was then flown by helicopter to Sacred Heart, where her lungs filled with fluid and her heart began to fail. Randi died at 5:05 p.m.

Family members are upset that they have to wait until Monday before the autopsy is performed. Family members said they consented to the autopsy out of public health concern, but thought it would be done Friday evening.

“After all we went through, we figured we could help someone else,” her grandfather said.

“No one said it might take three or four days,” added the girl’s great aunt, Linda Moles of Las Vegas.

A nursing supervisor at Sacred Heart said it’s not unusual for autopsies to be delayed on weekends.

The family wants to go home and have the girl’s body sent to Seattle as soon as possible for a funeral, Robertson said.

, DataTimes

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