Meningitis diagnosed in Howard youth Viral Illness appears unrelated to bacterial case reported last week

November 01, 1997|By Erin Texeira | Erin Texeira,SUN STAFF

Viral meningitis was diagnosed in a fourth-grade western Howard County student this week, but no other cases have been reported at the girl's school or in the surrounding community, Howard County school officials said yesterday.

The West Friendship Elementary School student's illness appeared unrelated to another case of meningitis discovered a week before at a western Howard County high school. That case was the bacterial form of the infection.

The unidentified girl -- who had flulike symptoms and nausea -- had not attended West Friendship for a week before the #F diagnosis Tuesday, said Patti Caplan, a school spokeswoman.

School officials sent a letter of warning to parents Wednesday, she said.

Viral meningitis is the less dangerous of two forms of the %J infection, a progressive inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain.

The girl's case surfaced about a week after the more serious bacterial form was diagnosed in a ninth-grade student at Glenelg High.

The student, Steven Musgrove, 14, was hospitalized for several days but recovered and returned to school Thursday, he said yesterday. No members of his soccer team or family developed the illness, he said.

The viral strain of the illness is rarely life-threatening but sometimes requires a hospital stay to treat symptoms, which include headaches and nausea. It was unclear whether the West Friendship student was hospitalized, Caplan said.

Pub Date: 11/01/97

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