Jameek Lowery, whose death sparked multiple protests and demands for answers after he live streamed a panic-stricken video from the police headquarters claiming people, including police officers, were trying to kill him, had been suffering from meningitis, according to municipal officials.
Municipal officials described it as the “worst kind” and that he had it for a while. He also had bowel necrosis, according to municipal officials. Meningococcal disease is caused by bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis. It is “severe” and can be “deadly,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“Anyone who has come in close contact, I highly encourage them to get treated,” said mayor Andre Sayegh on Thursday morning. He had come in contact with the deceased a week earlier at a restaurant on Broadway.
Sayegh visited the hospital for chemoprophylaxis on Wednesday night. Police director Jerry Speziale is also receiving treatment. Both were let out of the hospital within 30 minutes. Police officers and firefighters who came in contact with Lowery are receiving preventative care.
The mayor said he has notified family members.
Paul Persaud, director of the Health Department of Paterson, said preventative treatment involves antibiotics therapy.
Bacteria is transmitted from person-to-person through droplets of respiratory or throat secretions from carriers. Smoking, close and prolonged contact like kissing, sneezing, coughing on someone, and living in close quarters with the carrier, according to information the director provided.
Persaud said Lowery’s case of meningitis has not been confirmed.. He said anyone who came in close contact and suspects having contracted the diseases should call the health department at 973-321-1277 for an evaluation to determine whether they require chemoprophylaxis.
Lowery, 27, died at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center early Monday morning. He was taken to the hospital early Saturday morning after he arrived at the police headquarters seeking assistance because he was “paranoid.”
Police called an ambulance. He was put on the ambulance and taken to hospital. Upon arrival, he was unresponsive, according to information released by the Passaic County prosecutor. Police had to physically restrain him in the ambulance.
Some of his family members claimed he had been assaulted and rendered unresponsive in the ambulance. Many of his family members and community leaders protested the death on Tuesday night. A second protest was held on Wednesday night outside City Hall.
Before Lowery arrived at the police headquarters, he had been at the hospital. He called 911 and told an ambulance dispatcher he had taken too many ecstasy pills. An ambulance transported him to the hospital, but he became erratic and left the hospital.
The prosecutor has said an autopsy is being done. A cause of death has yet to be determined. Officials said the cause may involve a combination of factors, meningitis, the pills he took, and excited delirium.
Lowery left behind three children, two boys and a girl.
Lowery’s brother Shareek McFadden could not be reached for comments for this report.
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