Popular children's indoor play area in Northampton speaks out after young boy becomes 'very ill' with deadly disease

"We have no reason to believe our venue is the source of the illness”
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A children’s indoor play area in Northampton has spoken out after a young boy became ‘very ill’ with a deadly disease after visiting their site.

Zoomania, in Kings Heath, has issued a statement after the boy, who visited the site on Friday (April 12), became ‘very ill’ with viral meningitis.

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A Zoomania spokesman said: “We are aware of a young child attending our venue on Friday (April 12) who unfortunately has become very ill with viral meningitis. We wish a speedy recovery for the child involved.

Zoomania in Kings HeathZoomania in Kings Heath
Zoomania in Kings Heath

"We have no reason to believe our venue is the source of the illness due to the incubation period of such an illness. However, if your child is suffering from any of the symptoms stated on the NHS website please seek medical attention or ring 111.

“We would like to reassure customers that we have a cleaning routine we strictly follow every evening after close. We deep clean our venue which includes sanitising all play equipment.”

The venue was closed today (Wednesday, April 17) for a deep clean, the owner told the Chronicle and Echo.

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Since Friday, multiple social media posts have been shared warning other parents who may have attended the venue on Friday.

Jessica Devon says her three-year-old daughter Molly also became suddenly ill after visiting Zoomania on Friday morning.

The 28-year-old mum said: “By Friday afternoon my daughter was scratching her eyes out, screaming and saying her head hurts.

"On Saturday, in the early hours, she couldn’t walk straight and kept falling over, was sick everywhere, had a really low temperature, couldn’t see straight, couldn’t open her eyes.

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“I took her to hospital. NGH said they didn’t have a paediatric radiologist on site over the weekend so if my daughter deteriorated she would be transferred to Milton Keynes or Coventry. Luckily she improved. We didn’t get a definite diagnosis of meningitis but the doctor said he was 95 per cent certain it was. She hit most of the symptoms.

“I thought it was just a one-off and my daughter was the only one who had it but then I saw a post on social media of a boy who has also got it. The only place we could determine we had both been was Zoomania on Friday morning.

“I rang Zoomania on Monday morning to let them know. It’s not their fault obviously but I asked them to warn parents as soon as possible. They’ve only today put something out now on Wednesday. It’s taken too long. Children can die from this.”

Northampton General Hospital said it has not been made aware by Public Health Northamptonshire of any outbreaks of meningitis.

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Public Health Northamptonshire has been contacted for comment.

Official NHS advice around meningitis says to call 999 for an ambulance or go to your nearest A&E immediately if you think you or someone you look after could have meningitis or sepsis. Trust your instincts and do not wait for all the symptoms to appear or until a rash develops. Someone with meningitis or sepsis can get a lot worse very quickly.

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