by Kennedy Ryan
Web Producer / KTLA
IRVINE, Calif. (KTLA) — Health officials in Orange County are warning parents about an outbreak of potentially deadly meningococcal disease tied to Tijuana.
Back in February, 18-year-old Kaitlyn Dobrow, of Huntington Beach, awoke with a bad headache and couldn’t get out of bed.
She began to vomit and had diarrhea.
Her mother then saw what looked like bruising spreading throughout Kaitlyn’s body just below her skin.
They rushed her to an area hospital that day, Kaitlyn was eventually transferred to the UC Irvine Medical Center, where she has been ever since.
The two most common types of the infection result in meningitis, an infection of the spinal cord and brain, and meningococcemia, an infection of the bloodstream.
Teens and young adults are particularly susceptible to becoming infected.
Because of this disease, Kaitlyn has had to have all four of her limbs amputated.
She has gone through nine surgeries, and doctors believe more are to come.
Health officials want parents to be aware of the deadly disease, which is easily preventable by vaccination.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children be vaccinated for the first time at age 11 or 12, followed by a booster at age 16.