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HomeLocal & Regional NewsPublic Health Update: Viral Meningitis Continues Slow Spread Among Susanville Residents

Public Health Update: Viral Meningitis Continues Slow Spread Among Susanville Residents

Testing on 31 possible cases of Viral Meningitis reported to Lassen County’s Public Health Department so far have yielded 18 suspected and 9 confirmed cases of the virus according to a Friday evening update released by Public Health Director Jessica Jones. Viral Meningitis was ruled out in four of the reported cases.

“When it became clear that a greater number of cases than average were being reported, LCPH began an epidemiological investigation,” explains Jones.

“The connection has been found between some cases and further investigation will continue with the assistance of California Department of Public Health and Center for Disease Control and Prevention.”

According to Jones, spinal fluid for the initial 11-cases of suspected viral meningitis have been submitted to the California Department of Public Health’s Viral and Rickettsial Disease Laboratory for viral testing. Of those, 9 have tested positive for enteroviruses which can be broken into 65 different strains (including, echoviruses, Coxsackie viruses and others).

A process called Serotyping will be conducted on the positive enteroviruses samples to determine the exact strain.

“One has tested negative for enteroviruses and one is being retested. More samples have been sent and are pending laboratory analysis.”

Jones said that most patients have been hospitalized briefly with no deaths.

Prevention and Patient Information
Prevention is following the usual standard precautions with an emphasis on hand washing and respiratory secretion hygiene. There is no vaccine or specific prophylaxis or treatment for most viral meningitis, except those caused by vaccine preventable diseases such as measles, mumps and varicella, or by herpes simplex which is treatable with antivirals. Treatment is generally supportive care and pain management.

Patients and family are frequently very anxious about meningitis and education about viral meningitis that differentiates viral from bacterial meningitis is helpful. Education regarding the importance of hand washing and respiratory hygiene–for everyone community wide–is important to reduce spread.

Call the call center number at (530) 252-2300 for more information.

Jeremy Couso
Jeremy Couso Publisher/Editor


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