Experts weigh in on meningitis cases in schools - WNEM TV 5

Experts weigh in on meningitis cases in schools

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LANSING, MI (WNEM) -

It's seemingly spreading like wildfire: meningitis.

From Saginaw to Swartz Creek, and in between, five schools have seen viral cases and one has seen a case of the bacterial kind.

But is this that uncommon? The experts are weighing in.

Angela Minicuci is spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services.

"Around this time of year, we see a seasonal uptick in viral meningitis, and we are seeing that right now in Genesee County," Minicuci said.

She said while the numbers may seem alarming, viral meningitis is actually pretty common.

It's nowhere near as deadly as its bacterial counterpart.

"Certainly they have every right to be concerned. But there are things you can be doing in your own home to protect the transmission from your own family," Minicuci said.

Some of those steps? Simply washing your hands can prevent the spread of this sickness and keep you protected.

But what about a vaccine? Is that an option? Experts say no.

"There's not a vaccine out there that would protect against the various ways that someone would get viral meningitis, such as an enterovirus. There's not a vaccine for that," Minicuci said.

So what should you watch out for?

  • A stiff and painful neck, especially when you try to touch your chin to your chest.
  • Fever.
  • Headache.
  • Vomiting.
  • Trouble staying awake.
  • Seizures.

"Talk to your doctor, or call your local health department. They can assist in any way as well," Minicuci said.

>>Check out our FAQ sheet on bacterial and viral meningitis<<

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