Hudson Bluehawk Nation Afterschool Program (HBN ASP)

Important Health Notice (December 22, 2017)

December 22, 2017

Dear Parent/Guardians & Staff Members of the Afterschool Program at M.C. Smith Intermediate School,

It has come to our attention that an individual involved in the afterschool program at M.C. Smith Intermediate School has a confirmed case of viral meningitis. As of today, this is the only case of viral meningitis reported in our school. Since individuals involved in the afterschool program at MCSIS may have been in close contact with this person, we want to provide you with information about the illness as well as precautions you can take to remain healthy.

Viral meningitis is most commonly caused by other viruses such as non-polio, Measles, Mumps, Influenza, West Nile or Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis viruses. Viral meningitis is the most common type of meningitis and it causes inflammation of tissue surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Please be assured that viral meningitis is typically less severe than the bacterial strain of the disease and should not be a cause of major concern.

Not everyone who comes into contact with a person infected with viral meningitis will develop the disease. In fact, only a small number of people who get infected with the viruses that cause meningitis will actually develop viral meningitis. Newborn babies and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have severe illness from viral meningitis. However, anyone with symptoms of meningitis is encouraged to see a healthcare professional right away because some types of meningitis can be very serious, and only a doctor can determine if you have the disease and what type it is.

Symptoms of viral meningitis may include: fever, headache, stiff neck, sensitivity to bright light, sleepiness or trouble waking from sleep, nausea, vomiting, decreased appetite, and lethargy (extreme lack of energy).

In most cases, there is no specific treatment for viral meningitis. People with viral meningitis usually recover completely on their own within 7-10 days.

Since viral meningitis is caused by a virus, antibiotics are not useful in preventing or treating the disease. Some vaccinations can protect against viruses that can lead to viral meningitis such as such as measles, mumps, chickenpox, and influenza. Make sure you and your child(ren) are up to date on immunizations.

There are no vaccines to protect against non-polio enteroviruses, which are the most common causes of viral meningitis. You can take the following preventative measures to help decrease your chances of becoming infected with these types of viruses and spreading them to others:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after changing diapers, using the toilet, or coughing or blowing your nose.
  • Cover your mouth when coughing and sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.

The district has made afterschool families and staff aware of the illness. We continue to follow best practices to help prevent the spread of all illnesses, including encouraging students, faculty and staff to follow the above guidelines and ensure surfaces are cleaned regularly. Please contact your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns. Thank you for your cooperation in keeping our students and staff healthy for learning.

 

Click here to download this letter as a PDF