After 2nd report of meningitis in Girard, infectious disease specialist says not to panic

Local News

The school district says the two cases at the high school are not related

GIRARD, Ohio (WKBN) – Some Girard parents are worried after receiving a recent voicemail saying a student had been diagnosed with viral meningitis. But just 10 weeks ago, the district was in a similar situation.

The district says the two cases at the high school are not related, though.

“The fact that there’s a couple cases 10 weeks apart should not be a cause of concern nor should it be a concern for anyone listening,” said Dr. John Venglarcik, an infectious disease specialist.

The district first found out about the second case on Sunday, leaving parents a voicemail to inform them hours after the discovery.

Their entire goal was to inform and not create panic for parents or students.

“I mean, it’s a serious situation and we want to make sure that they are informed of our situation of the student and they should be on the alert,” said Girard Superintendent Bryan O’Hara.

The cause of the cases is currently unknown, but Dr. Venglarcik has his suspicions set on mosquitoes.

“Types of viral meningitis, full recovery is the norm. Seeing another case 10 weeks later, maybe nothing more than they live in the same geographic region,” Dr. Venglarcik said. “They’re spread either fecal or oral contamination, mosquitoes for the most part, and they are common.”

The district said it’s trying to prevent any further cases from happening.

“I just know that we’re going to be proactive in our measures to make sure that we have a safe environment for our students and staff,” O’Hara said.

After learning about the first case, the school disinfected all of the exposed areas.

Dr. Venglarcik agrees with O’Hara when saying preventing cases like this can be as simple as washing your hands. It can also prevent other things like the flu.

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