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Viral Meningitis Notice

September 30, 2013

CSHM Parents and Guardians,

A child attending our school has been diagnosed with viral meningitis.  This illness is typically caused by one of several viruses that are very common during the summer and fall months. 

Viral meningitis is a serious but rarely fatal illness in persons with normal immune systems.  It produces inflammation of the tissues that cover the brain and spinal cord.  Usually, the symptoms last from 7 to 10 days and the person recovers completely. Symptoms include fever, severe headache, stiff neck, bright lights hurting the eyes, drowsiness or confusion, and nausea and vomiting. Infants with this illness may have fever, irritability, difficulty waking, or may refuse to eat.  There is no specific treatment for viral meningitis.  Most patients recover completely on their own, and doctors often will recommend bed rest, plenty of fluids, and medicine to relieve fever and headache.

The viruses that typically cause viral meningitis are spread through direct contact with nose or throat secretions (mucus or saliva) of infected persons, or by contact with contaminated surfaces or objects such as a drinking glass or telephone.  Adults may also become infected by contamination of the hands with stool from an infected infant or toddler during diaper changes.    

It usually takes between 3 and 6 days from the time you are exposed to an infected person until you develop symptoms.  Most infected  persons will either have no symptoms or develop only a “cold” like illness or rash with low-grade fever.  Only a very small fraction of infected persons actually develop meningitis.

The most effective way to prevent infection is to wash your hands thoroughly and often.  Handwashing is very important for children, especially after using the bathroom.  Also, avoid sharing eating utensils or drinking from the same cup as someone who is sick. 

If your child or anyone in your household develops symptoms of this illness, please contact your doctor and mention this letter.   For further information, please call the Center for Disease Control, or visit their website at  This letter is being sent home with all students in attendance at the end of this school day and will be posted on our website.


Robert Fraley
Vice-Principal, CSHM High School
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