Meningitis In Southern Kentucky?

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With outbreaks in the north eastern part of the country, could the communicable disease, Meningitis be headed to South Central Kentucky?i>

The Barren River District Health Department said the last case of bacterial Meningitis was reported in March 2005.

Communicable Disease nurse, Sharon Ray, said that right now we don't have anything to worry about but we still need to keep our eyes open.

"Parents and college students and the general public need to be aware of the signs and symptoms of Meningitis so that they can seek medical attention early on," Ray said.

Ray said the disease, which can be viral or bacterial, can be spread in many different ways.

"They may be spread through respiratory secretions, coughing, kissing, sharing utensils, eating after one another, drinking after one
another or on surfaces," Ray added.

She also said it takes up to 10 days for a person to realize they have Meningitis.

Places like schools and workplaces where people are in close proximity to each other for long time periods, can be breeding grounds for the disease.

You might have Meningitis if you suffer from these symptoms:

"Generally, high fever with a sudden onset, stiff neck, headache. They may be sensitive to light, nausea, vomiting," Ray said.

If left untreated, Meningitis can lead to serious conditions including hearing loss, brain damage and loss of limbs.

Ray said early detection is the key to keeping you and your family healthy.

For more information on Meningitis from the Barren River District Health Department, click here.