Glenbrook North staff member diagnosed with viral meningitis
Updated: March 1, 2013 6:28AM
NORTHBROOK — Glenbrook North High School’s principal is asking parents of students to monitor their children for possible symptoms of viral meningitis.
Principal Paul Pryma said that a staff member has been diagnosed with viral meningitis and is receiving the appropriate treatment at a local hospital.
Although this illness can be serious, the Cook County Department of Health has reviewed the situation and is not recommending any further preventative actions for the school, students or staff, Pryma said.
Viral meningitis, an inflammation of the tissues covering the brain and spinal cord, is generally less severe than other types of meningitis and resolves itself without specific treatment, he added.
However, parents should watch for the early signs of meningitis, which are fever, headache and stiff neck.
Nausea and vomiting also often develop as well as sensitivity to light or confusion, Pryma noted.
“People who are around someone with viral meningitis have a chance of becoming infected with the virus, but likely will not develop meningitis as a result,” Pryma said.
“Also, this virus is not transmitted by routine classroom contact or by simply breathing the air where a person with meningitis has been.”
The virus can spread to people who have had direct contact with a patient’s respiratory secretions (saliva, sputum, or nasal mucus) or through fecal contamination.
This can occur when changing a diaper or using the toilet and not properly washing hands afterwards, he added.
“Although we believe (no student) has been exposed to the disease, it is still important that you observe your child for symptoms,” Pryma said, in a letter to parents.
He also asked parents to seek medical attention as soon as possible if anyone is suspected of meningitis.