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Okay School District Takes Action To Prevent Spread Of Viral Meningitis

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School administrators are closing school Monday to sanitize facilities. School administrators are closing school Monday to sanitize facilities.
A faculty member contracted viral meningitis, the less serious form. A faculty member contracted viral meningitis, the less serious form.
OKAY, Oklahoma -

Illness canceled classes at a Green Country school district Monday, and it's not the flu. Viral meningitis has struck Okay Public Schools.

It's important to note viral meningitis is not nearly as dangerous as the bacterial form, but Okay School leaders say they didn't want to take any chances.

Okay is a small district with about 500 students.

"We're going to do everything we can to protect the safety of their children and that's why we're responding as quickly as we are," said Interim Superintendent David Harlow.

Over the weekend, a faculty member at Okay Public Schools was struck by the viral meningitis bug. School leaders are canceling Monday's classes to sanitize all buildings, the playground, buses and anything else students and staffers come in contact with.

"Fortunately it is the less violent type of disease," Harlow said.

Even though that's the case, the district says it's important they don't put any students in harm's way.

"Realizing that the world 'viral' and the word 'meningitis' both have a threatening connotation," the superintendent said.

Parents couldn't agree more.

2/3/2013 Related Story: Okay Schools Closed Monday Due To Viral Meningitis

"I'm glad they're taking the precautions and cleaning it, sanitizing it, whatever they got to do," said Josh Wilson, parent.

"I'm just glad they're going to close the school and get everything good and clean," agreed Roy Timmons, who has two kids at the school.

Timmons is a nurse and understands how easy it is to pass along the virus.

"It's pretty much spreads like the flu - sneezing, coughing," he said.

Schools all across Green Country have had to cancel class due to the violent flu season. Harlow says his district has already been taking extra measures to keep its students healthy by regularly disinfecting common areas.

"We're hopeful that we're going to do what's necessary to prevent it from getting any worse and keep anyone else from getting the disease," said David Harlow, interim superintendent at Okay Public Schools.

The district plans to bring in professional cleaners on Monday.

School leaders expect classes to resume on Tuesday.

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