June 20, 2008

Mayor Recovers From Meningitis

By CUMING, Deborah

Thames Coromandel District Mayor Philippa Barriball is at home recovering from viral meningitis - not a minor stroke as earlier diagnosed.

The 38-year-old mother of one was admitted to Thames Hospital on June 10 with what was initially thought to be a stroke.

Further tests, including one which led to a dash in an ambulance to Waikato Hospital, have confirmed viral meningitis.

TCDC communications officer Alison Smith said Ms Barriball was "doing really well" but would need a prolonged period of rest to allow for a full recovery.

"She is really keen to get back into it, but doctors have advised her that it can't be rushed, so she will be taking that advice.

"Her intention is to be back for the local government conference at the end of July, so before that she will be working through email."

Viral meningitis is a relatively common infection of the fluid in the spinal cord and the fluid that surrounds the brain. It is often mild and usually clears up on its own within two weeks if it does not develop into something more serious.

Messages of support are being accepted at any TCDC office and Mrs Smith said Ms Barriball had been touched by the number of cards, flowers and notes of support she has received.

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