Custodians are scrubbing door handles and washing down surfaces in York County’s Regional School Unit 57, where four students have contracted viral meningitis.

The school system confirmed Tuesday that four cases have now been reported, but said the students don’t share classes, buses or anything else that would suggest they contracted meningitis from each other.

Massabesic High School Principal Christian Elkington said the four cases don’t qualify as an outbreak, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

There also are current cases of students with mononucleosis, but the school’s attendance has not dropped overall, he said.

Last week, North Berwick-based School Administrative District 60 reported that two students had meningitis.

In RSU 57, Elkington said, door handles are being scrubbed every class period, and bathrooms and locker rooms are being thoroughly cleaned each night to help prevent the spread of the meningitis virus.

Elkington said he was told by the CDC that viral meningitis is not nearly as serious as bacterial meningitis.

The condition of some students who originally reported the symptoms has improved, Elkington said.

“The first three cases, those kids are all doing much better and some of them probably will be returning to school some time this week or the beginning of next week as long as they don’t have any symptoms,” he said.

The district covers Newfield, Limerick, Lyman, Alfred, Waterboro, and Shapleigh.

Symptoms of viral meningitis include fever, headache, stiff neck, sensitivity to bright light, vomiting, difficulty waking from sleep, lack of appetite and nausea, says a letter posted on the RSU 57 website by Superintendent John Davis. Most people get over the symptoms in seven to 10 days, the letter says.

The letter offers tips to prevent spreading germs, including washing hands often with soap and water, not touching the face with unwashed hands, avoiding close contact with people who are sick, covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or upper shirtsleeve, disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, and staying home when sick.

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.