There was quite a scare last week at East Hampton Middle School when a student was hospitalized and diagnosed with meningitis.
A letter issued by the Assistant Superintendent of Schools, Kevin Reich, was immediately sent home to parents addressing the concern, explaining that meningitis is an infection of the fluid around the spinal cord and the fluid that surrounds the brain. It also stated that the student’s particular meningitis was not related “in any way” to the multi-state outbreak of meningitis that has been saturating the news in recent weeks.
As a precaution, following the student’s diagnosis, the custodial staff at the middle school thoroughly cleaned all the hard surfaces at the school where hand to hand contact from the student had been made.
When contacted about the matter this week, Reich explained that the school had followed the recommendation of the state health department concerning the issue and the student is back at school and doing well.
“We addressed parents’ concerns immediately and beyond that point we really did not get a lot of calls in regard to the matter,” said Reich. “We are glad the student is back at school and doing well.”
Symptoms of meningitis include fever, headache, and stiff neck. More severe symptoms include confusion or seizure. According to the CDC website there are five different types of meningitis; bacterial, viral, parasitic, fungal and non-infectious.
The best prevention is to wash hands regularly, stay healthy, cover your mouth, don’t share food or eating utensils and consult a health care provider if any of the above symptoms are noted.