Consol alerts W. Pa. miners to meningitis death 

Consol Energy is alerting 500 workers at a coal mine in southwestern Pennsylvania after a miner died from a rare form of meningitis that is spread through a person's saliva.

The Pittsburgh-based company isn't identifying the worker who died Tuesday, a day after he went home with flulike symptoms.

Consol has contacted the Pennsylvania Department of Health and has a doctor at the Bailey Mine in Greene County, about 40 miles southwest of Pittsburgh, to explain the disease and its symptoms to workers. Consol is also encouraging workers to seek medical attention if they believe it's necessary.

A health department spokeswoman says the disease "can spread to people who have had close or prolonged contact" with an infected person. Casual contact like touching the same phone isn't a concern because the bacteria don't live long outside the human body.

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