A York County school district is reporting that a student has been diagnosed with viral meningitis.

Katie Hawes, superintendent of Regional School Unit 21, which includes Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Arundel, sent a letter to parents on Monday reporting that there has been a confirmed case of viral meningitis, which is less severe than bacterial meningitis.

People who contract viral meningitis typically recover on their own at home.

Meningitis, an inflammation of the tissue that covers the brain and spinal cord, has symptoms that include fatigue, fever, headache, nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to bright lights.

Viral meningitis – because it is a much less severe disease than bacterial meningitis, which can be fatal – is not tracked by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Maine CDC.

There is no treatment for viral meningitis, and patients usually recover within a week to 10 days.

The prevention of viral meningitis would be the same as for other viral diseases, which is primarily practicing good hygiene, such as washing hands with soap and water and not sharing utensils or drinking glasses.

In September 2015, there were seven cases of viral meningitis that were mentioned in news reports because Maine school districts reported the cases in letters sent home to parents.


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