Meningitis Scare In Union City

Tuesday, September 23rd 2014, 6:48 pm
By: News 9

One Oklahoma school district is shutdown with concerns of a meningitis outbreak. Union City Public Schools canceled class for Tuesday and Wednesday after multiple students showed symptoms. But now the State department of health has confirmed the situation is not a worst-case scenario.

The state has confirmed the cases in Union City are not bacterial, and are likely viral. Yet the school doors remain locked to the satisfaction of the city and the district.

"I'm happy about that and I'm happy my students are feeling much better and I think that's very good news," said Union City superintendent, Todd Carel.

Pleased with test results the pleased with his decision. Carel made the call to cancel school in the middle of the week after three of his high school students tested positive for meningitis.

The State Department of Health has now confirmed the cause is not bacterical, and likely viral. Meaning the symptoms are much less severe and not as contagious.

9/23/2014 Related Story: Department Of Health: No Confirmed Cases Of Bacterial Meningitis At Union City Schools

"The important part is that the general community or other students and other employees are not at an increased risk," said epidemiologist with acute disease service, Laurence Burnsed.

Yet viral meningitis can still be transferred through coughing and sneezing. Washing hands and sanitizing are recommended. Union City Mom Sondra Hadding has a daughter and son in the district and just the initial shock of the word meningitis was alarming enough.

“I know someone who lost a daughter to meningitis so that scared me," Hadding said.

So, Hadding was relieved classes were canceled and even more so after hearing the state's results, and says she'll continue to take precautions with her kids.

"I'll keep watching them especially my son because he is in the high school," Hadding said.

The district will also continue to take precautions. Classes will be cancelled for a second day Wednesday.

"And wiping down the school, cleaning everything, the eating utensils, the buses and the classrooms," said Carel.

The state department of health does not recommend parents seek care if their child is not experiencing symptoms of illness.