Health Information about Meningitis
- First published on 24 September 2015 Posted in Health
There has been several confirmed cases of viral meningitis in the Green Bay area. At this time, I would like to note that there are NO suspected or confirmed cases here at Chilton Public School. However, CPS would like to take this opportunity to provide some information about meningitis and how to prevent it.
There are two types of meningitis, viral and bacterial. Viral meningitis is more common, rarely serious and usually causes fewer long-lasting problems in comparison to bacterial. Bacterial meningitis is generally more severe and typically requires hospitalization.
Meningitis can be spread through coughs, sneezes, and the exchange of respiratory droplets such as saliva or nasal discharge. As a result, individuals can catch the disease through common activities such as sharing water bottles, utensils, and kissing. Also, some viruses can get transmitted by the fecal-oral route, which means you must get something in your mouth that is contaminated with feces from an infected person.
Meningitis can be difficult to recognize due to early signs or symptoms such as a high fever, severe headache, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to bright lights, stiff neck and sleepiness or trouble waking, which are similar to those of a common viral illnesses. The disease, especially bacterial, can progress rapidly and may cause death or permanent disability within 48 hours of initial symptoms.
Routine methods for preventing this illness includes practicing good hygiene and frequent hand washing. Hands should be wash vigorously for a minimum of 20 seconds. Hand washing should take place after going to the bathroom, before eating or preparing food, and after touching nasal or oral secretions. Covering your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough and avoid sharing eating utensils or objects can help prevent the spread of meningitis. Also, being up to date on immunizations such as, measles, mumps, rubella and polio as these diseases can cause meningitis. Lastly, if you or your child develop signs or symptoms of meningitis or you think you have been exposed, see your doctor or go to the emergency room immediately for evaluation.
Health and safety is always a top priority for the students at CPS. Please remind your child(ren) of these preventative measure to keep themselves and others around them healthy. These are good practicing standards that not only need to be done now, but at all times. If you have any questions or concerns you can contact your primary care physician or myself.
Chilton Public School Nurse
(920) 849-9388 ext. 2209