Case of viral meningitis reported at local school - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Case of viral meningitis reported at local school

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JACKSON CO. -- A case of a potentially deadly disease turns up at a Jackson County school.

Wednesday, health experts worked to calm any fears parents may have about the case of viral meningitis uncovered at the General John A. Logan Attendance Center.

News 3 spoke to the principal at the school. She didn't want to speak on camera, but she did say over the phone that there was obviously some concern among parents when they saw the school's Facebook post that one of the students here had come down with viral meningitis.

Jackson County Health Department nurse Karen Brown says, normally, viral meningitis doesn't pose much of a threat.

"Viral meningitis, like the name, means it was caused by a virus, which is very common," said Brown.

That's the type found in a student at John A. Logan Attendance Center.

Brown says a virus or bacteria can cause the infection of spinal and brain fluid.

"With the bacteria meningitis, that can be very serious but it also can be prevented," said Brown.

She points out, a vaccine from the health department or a doctor can prevent it.

"People ages 11 to 18 are recommended to get that," she said.

Brown says the best way to avoid the infection, comes from good hygiene.

"Hand to hand contact, so just good hand washing is one of the most important things," Brown added.

Brown tells News 3 she hasn't heard of any other cases of viral meningitis in our area among children, so she believes the Jackson County child who was hospitalized was just an isolated incident.

The Jackson County Health Department warns people that in order to avoid meningitis, wash your hands often and keep yourself away from mosquitoes, which can transmit the disease.

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