School cancels classes due to case of viral meningitis

January 6, 2012 2:35:50 PM PST
All the students from one local school have been sent home after a student has contracted a dangerous disesase.

A student at WALIPP-TSU Preparatory Academy has been identified as having viral meningitis, according to Cheryl Lawson, the school's superintendent. Classes have been cancelled for the rest of today, and after-school activities have been cancelled as well.

Lawson said the school was made aware of the student's illness this morning when a parent notified them.

She told Eyewitness News, "We're now responding to the issue and have identified the appropriate protocol from the city and state health departments. As a district, our first priority is to our families. We are responding to this situation and are preparing to cleanse the school as is protocol. At this time all school activities have been canceled."

After the school decided to cancel classes, they contacted the City of Houston Health Department. Health department spokesperson Kathy Barton says that it's extremely unlikely that viral meningitis would be contagious in this environment and there's no cause for alarm. School officials, acting out of an abundance of caution, will continue with plans to clean the school.

A letter sent home with students explains that viral meningitis can cause an infection in the covering of the brain and spinal cord that occurs more frequently in children than adults. Most patients recover fully. The signs and symptoms of viral meningitis include fever, headache, stiff neck, red rash, drowsiness, nausea and vomiting. Parents are advised to contact their health care provider immediately if their child develops any of these symptoms.