A student at a local elementary school is in the hospital with a case of bacterial meningitis and school officials are taking steps to protect other students from the disease.
There are two types of meningitis; viral and bacterial.
This young student is fighting the more dangerous bacterial meningitis.
"It's just not a nice disease to have, it's very dangerous even can be life threatening,” says Headland Elementary School Nurse Beth Givens.
Since bacterial meningitis in contagious Henry County Schools Superintendent Dennis Coe released a statement to parents saying
"There has been one case of bacterial meningitis identified at headland elementary school. The health department recommends simple basic hygiene procedures be practiced such as good hand washing, use of hand sanitizers, covering your cough with your elbow, etc. School officials are ensuring that these measures are in place.”
"Cover your cough with your elbow. Hand sanitizer if soap and water is unavailable but your first line of defense of course is the soap and water, washing your hands long enough to sing happy birthday to yourself is a good rule of thumb,” says Givens.
Principal Faye Shipes says the custodial staff is also taking extra precautions.
The Centers for Disease control says although meningitis is contagious the bacteria does not spread as easily as the common cold or the flu.
They say it takes coughing, kissing or sneezing.
But you should be aware of the symptoms.
They include fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, confusion, discomfort looking into bright lights and sleepiness.
Nurse Beth Givens has dealt with these symptoms with her own child before.
"When my child exhibited these symptoms with the viral meningitis that I wasn't dealing with average stomach virus symptoms, it was very pronounced symptoms and I believe that parental instinct would tell you that this is different this is something severe, this is something that need immediate medical attention."
She says if your child is exhibiting symptoms and you're in doubt she encourages you to do the safe thing and make a doctor's appointment.
She also says keep your children at home if they have diarrhea, vomiting or a fever.
She says wait until a fever has been gone 24 hours without medicine before coming back to school.
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