BOSTON (CBS) – Two young children who attend separate day cares in Boston have been diagnosed with meningococcal disease.

The Boston Public Health Commission says the children attended Horizons for Homeless Children in Dorchester and Roxbury. Health officials do not think the disease has spread.

Kimberley Cook’s 21-month-old son Lucas is one of the two children who was diagnosed. He has been in the ICU at Children’s Hospital for over a week.

“It all happened relatively quickly,” Cook said. “He got really sick, really fast.”

Lucas is hospitalized with meningococcal disease (Image credit Kimberley Cook)

Meningococcal disease can become bacterial meningitis.

“They have got him fully into a medically induced coma right now so they can continue healing him,” Cook said. “They said the infection is gone.”

Everyone who was in close contact with the two children have been identified and received antibiotics as a precaution. It is not known if the two cases are connected.

“We’re taking some precautions, we had two children who don’t have meningitis but we’re concerned about it leading to meningitis,” Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said. “They’ve gotten antibiotics, they’ve been treated. We’re asking people that have any symptoms or anything they’re concerned about to call 311 or the Boston Public Health Commission.”

WBZ-TV’s Dr. Mallika Marshall says the disease needs to be treated right away. “Meningococcal disease is caused by a bacteria and it can lead to meningitis but it can also cause infection in the bloodstream,” Dr. Marshall said.

It is spread through saliva and symptoms include nausea, vomiting, increased sensitivity to light, and altered mental status or confusion.

“Meningococcal disease can be very serious and in some cases deadly if it isn’t identified quickly and treated promptly with antibiotics,” Dr. Marshall said.

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