Students not affected by meningitis

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Assistant Editor

A recent outbreak of viral meningitis in the Boone County school system this week has some school officials here asking questions, but health officials say there is no cause for alarm at this time.

Putnam County Health Officer Dr. Robert Heavin contacted the BannerGraphic Wednesday morning and said that an adult with a child in the Greencastle school system is currently undergoing testing for possible viral meningitis, however, no students have been affected.

Greencastle Schools nurse Polly Shuee told the BannerGraphic she had seen the news coverage on the viral meningitis case in Boone County and wanted to make sure the health department was aware of the situation when she contacted them this week.

According to the website, viral meningitis is caused by "such viruses as enteroviruses, which are very common in summer and early fall. The viruses can spread through saliva, mucus and feces."

Dr. Heavin said this type of meningitis, which is typically not fatal and passes within a few days, is common among students this time of year.

Symptoms include fever, vomiting, headache and a stiff neck.

Because these symptoms are similar to other more serious illnesses, Dr. Heavin advised people go ahead and consult a doctor.

He said he does not think there is an outbreak in Putnam County at this time and doesn't feel there is any cause for alarm. He encouraged healthy people to wash their hands and practice overall good hygiene habits.

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