Portage Northern student contracts bacterial meningitis

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PORTAGE, Mich. (WOOD) — After a student was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis, Portage Northern High School is cleaning the school and advising parents on what they need to know.

In a note on its website, the school stressed that the information it is disseminating is precautionary only and that “there is no need to panic.”

The infected student is getting treatment and is not going to school. The school says it is taking care of any cleaning and washing that needs to be done at its facilities.

In a letter to parents, the Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services Department said that symptoms of bacterial meningitis, which causes swelling around the spinal cord and membrane, include sudden fever, headache, stiff neck, vomiting, rash or confusion. It is spread through contact with an infected person’s saliva or mucous. The health department said students who exhibit symptoms should be checked out by a medical professional right away.>>PDF: Letter to parents | Bacterial meningitis FAQ

Anyone with questions can call the school office at 269.323.5400. You can also contact the county’s disease surveillance nurses at 269.373.5267 or by emailing epihelp@kalcounty.com.

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