Fatal cases of meningitis connected to Miami day care unrelated, state says

Center closed for several week while officials investigated


MIAMI – Two children who attended the same Miami day care center died of meningitis within days of each other in December, but state health officials now say the cases are not related.

"These two unfortunate events appear to have been caused by different bacteria and are therefore, unrelated to each other," Dr. Reynald Jean of the Florida Department of Health wrote In a letter sent to parents Tuesday.

Both boys attended WCA Carol Glassman Donaldson Childcare Center in downtown Miami.

On Dec. 3, 22-month-old Connor Mincey died of meningitis after falling ill in late November, his family said. A week later, a 2-year-old boy died of meningitis, an attorney for his family told the Miami Herald. 

State health officials quickly confirmed that Mincey had pneumococcal meningitis, which can be transmitted person to person. At the time, officials recommended preventative measures such frequently hand washing. 

The second child died in Belize and complicated efforts for state health officials to review the autopsy. On Feb. 7, state officials reviewed the report and determined that the boy died of pseudomonas aeruginosa meningitis, which is not typically spread person to person.

The Florida Department of Children and Families conducted a routine inspection Dec. 1 at the day care, just two days before Connor died. 

Connor Mincey died of meningitis after falling ill in late November.
Connor Mincey died of meningitis after falling ill in late November.

Among the multiple violations noted in DCF's report were that the day care had no quarantine room for sick children.

The day care agreed to close shortly after the two deaths and said they would not to reopen the center until they were cleared by the health department and DCF.

The day care reopened Dec. 26 and the investigation into the center closed on Jan. 31.