Riley High School parents alerted to possible health risk - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Riley High School parents alerted to possible health risk

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School officials are trying to make sure parents and students are aware of a case of meningococcal disease at Riley High School.  A student was infected with Neisseria meningitidis recently.

The St. Joseph County Health Department says a person must have direct contact with an infected person's saliva during the week before symptoms show in order to become infected.  Casual contact, which includes most school related activities, is not enough to spread the disease.

School officials say patient is under medical supervision and can't spread the disease any longer.  The health department is working to identify and contact anyone who may have had 'close contact' with the student.

People who have had close contacts includes people:

  • living in the same household as the infected person;
  • who have kissed the infected person on the mouth;
  • who have items that come in contact with an infected person's saliva, such as drinks from the same container (i.e. water bottles, cups, glasses), eating utensils, cigarettes, or lipstick

Even though the risk of spreading the disease is low, parents are being asked to keep an eye out for signs of meningococcal disease.  Symptoms include, but are not limited to, a sudden onset of fever, headache, stiff neck, confusion and sometimes a rash.'

If parents see any of the symptoms, they should take their child to a doctor or emergency room immediately for evaluation.

Medical officials say antibiotic treatment of the disease is usually successful, especially if it is started early after symptoms begin.  If you have questions, you are asked to call the St. Joseph County Health Department at (574) 235-5056 or (574) 245-6759.

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