Meningitis scare at New Jersey school

June 4, 2008 7:03:18 PM PDT
A meningitis warning was issued Wednesday for students at a school in New Jersey.School officials say that a student who attends Heritage Middle School is being treated for viral meningitis.

Keep in mind, viral meningitis is the less severe type of the infection. While it is contagious, it usually does not require specific treatment.

Still, school custodial crews are being asked to thoroughly disinfect the school. Students are being asked to pay extra attention to personal hygiene.

The school district released the following statement on its Web site:

"The district has been informed that a student who attends Heritage Middle School is being treated for Viral Meningitis. We want to distinguish this case from a more severe form of meningitis, bacterial meningitis. Viral meningitis is generally less severe than other types of meningitis and usually resolves itself without specific treatment. Doctors may recommend bed rest, plenty of fluids, and medicine to relieve fever and headache.

As with most viral infections, the best prevention occurs by adhering to good personal hygiene, such as washing your hands thoroughly and frequently. Most infected persons either have no symptoms or develop only a cold or rash with low-grade fever and only a small proportion of infected persons actually develop meningitis. As a precaution the district has asked the custodial crews to increase disinfection procedures in the schools.

Last week, at Collins Elementary school, a student passed away suddenly. Throughout the last two weeks, the School District has been in frequent contact with the Livingston Health Department and they have confirmed that Meningitis was not a factor in that death.

Please refer to our website for additional information and links regarding viral meningitis. If you suspect that you or your child may have a meningitis infection, please contact your physician."