MENINGOCOCCAL (Meningitis) DISEASE

Orleans Community Schools

Health Services

 

MENINGOCOCCAL (Meningitis) DISEASE

 

Public Schools are mandated to distribute materials concerning Meningococcal disease and its vaccines to students and parents/guardians of students each year.

 

 

What is meningitis?

 

   Meningitis is an infection of the fluid of a person’s spinal cord and the fluid that surrounds the brain.  People sometimes refer to it as spinal meningitis.  Meningitis is usually caused by a virus or a bacterial infection.  Knowing whether meningitis is caused by a virus or bacteria is important because if the severity of illness and the treatments differ.

 

 

How is meningitis spread?

 

   Some forms of bacterial meningitis are contagious.  The bacteria are spread through the exchange of respiratory and throat secretions (i.e., coughing, kissing).  None of the bacteria that cause meningitis are as contagious as things like the common cold or the flu, and they are not spread by casual contact or by simply breathing the air where a person with meningitis has been.

 

 

Signs and Symptoms:

 

   High fever, headache, and stiff neck are common symptoms of meningitis in anyone over the age of 2 years.  These symptoms can develop over several hours or they may take 1 to 2 days.  Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, and discomfort looking into bright lights, confusion and sleepiness.  As the disease progresses, patients of any age may have seizures.

 

 

Places where parents and guardians of students may obtain additional information and vaccinations for their children:

 

Indiana Department of Health

http://www.in.gov/isdh/25455.htm

Orange Co. Health Department

            723-7113

 

 

Please contact your health care provider for specific instructions regarding your child.