Union area schools issue viral meningitis alert

Posted Oct. 10, 2013, at 8:29 a.m.
Last modified Oct. 10, 2013, at 10:46 a.m.

UNION, Maine — Regional School Unit 40 has issued an alert about several cases of viral meningitis within the community.

The district posted the advisory on its website.

“The administration and health service personnel of MSAD 40 are aware of several cases of viral meningitis within our communities. The Center of Disease Control is working with the schools to monitor concerns. In the event there is any need for a public health advisory, MSAD 40 will follow the directives of the CDC,” the post stated.

According to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, most patients with viral meningitis recover completely on their own within seven to 10 days. Patients are urged to get bed rest, plenty of fluids and medication to relieve fever and headaches, the Maine CDC stated on its website.

Meningitis is the swelling of tissues that cover the brain and spinal cord. High fever, severe headache, a stiff neck, drowsiness, nausea and vomiting are common symptoms.

Viral meningitis does not pose the health risks that the much more serious bacterial meningitis does.

Dr. Stephen Sears, the state’s epidemiologist, said that this virus is most common from August through the end of October. He said the state is aware of cases in Knox County but does not know if any students have come down with the virus.

He said hand washing and other personal hygiene steps can help prevent the spread.

Interim Superintendent Michael Cormier was not available for comment until afternoon. The district’s health officer referred calls to him.

RSU 40 includes Union, Warren, Waldoboro, Friendship, and Washington.

Watch Bangordailynews.com for updates.

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