The Provincial Health Office (PHO) of Negros Occidental confirmed Friday that the cause of death of an elderly woman from Hinoba-an town is not meningococcemia.

Dr. Ernell Tumimbang, provincial health officer, said the result of the culture and sensitivity test conducted by the Dr. Pablo O. Torre Memorial Hospital yielded negative of Neisseria meningitides, a bacterium that causes meningitis and meningococcemia.

It showed that the 61-year-old woman, a government nurse, died of bacterial septicemia infection on Wednesday at a hospital in Bacolod City.

Tumimbang said a cerebral spinal fluid was extracted from the patient for the confirmatory test. It was then incubated for three days.

He said they have yet to determine where she contracted the bacteria.

The PHO is still conducting contact tracing starting 10 days before the patient first showed the symptoms, which was on January 4.

She was admitted to a hospital in Bacolod on January 9 due to unresponsiveness and stiffening of extremities. Two days later, on January 11, she passed away.

Tumimbang said the patient has pre-existing diseases, including diabetes, which may have complicated her condition.

Meningococcemia, according to the Department of Health, can spread through direct contact with discharges from the nose and throat that contain the bacteria Neisseria meningitides.

Its symptoms include high fever, headache, stiff neck, drowsiness, dizziness, convulsions, vomiting, unstable vital signs, coughing, and rashes.*