Meningitis case reported at Firelands High

Staff Report

A suspected case of viral meningitis has been reported at Firelands High School.

The Lorain County General Health District identified the danger, which was made public Friday.

A student is at the center of the scare.

“This student is also an athlete and earlier this week, practiced at the elementary gym,” said a release from the school system. “We are working with officials from the Lorain County Health Department who are in contact with doctors from the Cleveland Clinic.”

Authorities say there is “an extremely low risk that your child will contract meningitis” but warn to watch for symptoms.

Viral meningitis is an irritation of the covering of the brain and spinal cord.

While people of any age can get the virus, it tends to manifest in children.

Symptoms include fever, severe headache, stuff neck, lack of appetite, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, and rash. If your child exhibits any of these symptoms, Firelands educators say to see your primary care doctor.

Viral meningitis is different from its bacterial cousin — it is more common and often less severe.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most people get better on their own without treatment.

However, it’s especially dangerous to infants and the elderly, whose immune systems are generally weaker.

Not everyone who is infected gets sick. Carriers spread the disease through close contact, including sweat and other bodily fluids.

The virus is cause for concern. But it is the other form of meningitis — bacterial — that can lead to brain damage, hearing loss, and learning disabilities, the CDC says.

To protect yourself from the virus, the Linda Matus of the county health district recommends you take these simple steps: Wash your hands thoroughly, especially after using the restroom or changing diapers; do not share cups, water bottles, or utensils; and make sure your family is up to date on vaccinations.

Staff Report