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Lassen High and Lassen College To Close Today and Friday After Viral Meningitis Warning

Updated 11:57a.m.

According to Public Health Director Jessica Jones, Lassen County’s Public Health Department is investigating one confirmed case and 11 suspect cases of viral meningitis that were reported this week. The Department is working closely with medical providers to ensure prompt identification and reporting of patients who present for care with the signs and symptoms of meningitis.

The Lassen County Health Department has directed Lassen High School and Lassen Community College to close today and tomorrow as a precautionary measure. (See our earlier story here.)

“Extracurricular activities have also been ordered to be cancelled,” continues Jones. “At this time schools will tentatively re-open on Monday, October 2nd. No other closures have been issued at this time. We will continue to update the public with more information as it becomes available.”

According to a Facebook post from the Susanville School District all Lassen County Schools have been working closely with the coordinated Nursing Services at the Lassen County Office of Education and the Lassen County Health Department.

“While there not any confirmed cases involving students at Diamond View, Meadow View, or McKinley Schools,” the statement explains, “staff have been actively providing preventative measures at the schools and closely monitoring students.”

According to Lassen High School an ‘All Call’ will go out on Sunday letting parents and students know if school will resume on Monday morning.

Viral meningitis is a common disease caused by a virus that infects the brain and spinal cord. It is not the same as bacterial meningitis; it is less severe and most people recover fully within a week. If you believe that you have been exposed to the illness AND are experiencing symptoms consistent with the disease, it is important that you do not go to work or school and seek medical treatment.

Viral meningitis symptoms include:
– Fever
– Headache
– Sensitivity to light
– Stiff neck
– Fatigue
(some people may have rash, sore throat, diarrhea, and/or vomiting.)

Questions about viral meningitis can be directed to the county health department at 251-8133. Questions related to students and the school can be directed to each of the school offices.

Like any illness good personal hygiene such as frequent hand washing. Wash your hands with soap and water; hand sanitizer may not be effective against certain viruses.

Wash your hands; before eating, drinking or preparing food; after using the bathroom or changing diapers; after coughing or sneezing and after touching your nose or mouth.

Do not share drinks, food, eating utensils, lipstick or other items that may have come into contact with someone else’s saliva.

If you are caring for someone with viral meningitis, your chances of getting meningitis are very low, but you should wash your hands frequently and clean surfaces that come in contact with the person’s saliva, nose secretions, or feces with soap and water.

Disinfect items with dilute bleach (1/4 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water).

Strict Isolation is not required, however people diagnosed with viral meningitis should not return to school or work until the symptoms are gone. If you are sick stay home, this is the best way to not spread any illness.

Jeremy Couso
Jeremy Couso Publisher/Editor


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