“The Shiawassee County Health Department (SCHD) has been notified of a confirmed case of viral meningitis in a student at Elsa Meyer Elementary School in Corunna,” said SCHD Director Larry Johnson on Thursday morning. “Viral meningitis is an inflammation of the tissue that covers the brain and spinal cord. Viral meningitis is the most common type of meningitis, especially from summer to fall when the viruses spread more often.
“The SCHD is working closely with Corunna Public Schools in response to the situation. The Shiawassee County Health Department would like to make sure everyone stays healthy by providing the following information.
“Viral meningitis is often less severe, causing fewer long-lasting problems when compared to bacterial meningitis. There are a large number of viruses that can cause meningitis, many of which are passed to others through coughing and sneezing. Viral meningitis can also be caused by the mumps virus, measles virus, varicella virus (chickenpox), influenza virus and West Nile virus.
“You can get viral meningitis at any age. If you have close contact with an individual who has viral meningitis, you may become infected with the virus that made the individual sick, but you are not likely to develop meningitis as a complication of illness.
“In most cases, there is no specific treatment for viral meningitis. Most individuals completely recover on their own within 7 to 10 days. Antibiotics do not help viral infections, so they are not useful in the treatment of Viral Meningitis at Corunna Schoolviral meningitis.
“If you have the following common symptoms, please consult your family physician: fever, headache, stiff neck, sensitivity to bright light, sleepiness or trouble waking from sleep, nausea, vomiting, lack of appetite or lethargy (lack of energy).
“You can protect yourself from viral meningitis by practicing the following: *Practicing good hand hygiene and always washing your hands, especially after using the restroom, coughing or blowing your nose. *Avoiding touching your face with unwashed hands. *Avoiding close contact such as kissing, hugging, or sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick. *Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, such as toys, door knobs, etc. *Stay home if you are sick. *Making sure you and your child are vaccinated on schedule. Measles, mumps, chickenpox and influenza, if unprotected against the disease, can lead to viral meningitis.
“The Shiawassee County Health Department wants you to stay healthy this season. If you have not received your influenza vaccination, we encourage you to do so. Influenza vaccines are available at the Health Department. Visit our website at www.health.shiawassee.net or visit www.cdc.gov/meningitis/viral.html for more viral meningitis resources and information.”