MOUNT OLIVE, N.J. – Two high school football players, and possibly a third, have been diagnosed with viral meningitis, according to school officials.
Mount Olive High School Principal Kevin Stansberry, in a letter to parents, wrote the district was recently informed of the diagnosis and that there may be more cases pending lab results. The district did not disclose the date it was informed of the diagnosis.
An inflammation of the covering of the brain and spinal cord, symptoms of viral meningitis are similar to the flu. They include, headache, stomach ache, diarrhea, and tiredness.
“While this can be upsetting, the chance of your child or you also becoming ill with this disease is very small,” Stansberry wrote in the letter. “Viral meningitis is not the same as bacterial meningitis. People who get viral meningitis usually recover completely with rest and fever-reducing medicine.”
While viral meningitis is treatable, the entire district is on watch for symptoms, according to Stansberry. If a student complains of symptoms, they should be checked for illness. Superintendent Larrie Reynolds advised students who are sick to stay home.
“We have been in close touch with the town’s health officials,” Reynolds said. “We have followed all their advice to limit potential points of contagion, including disinfecting rooms, buses, and team equipment.”
Reynolds said two cases had been confirmed as of Thursday afternoon, both football players, with a third one possible.
“We have learned that viral meningitis is actually quite common,” Reynolds said, “Especially in the spring and fall, and among athletes in close contact sports, such as football.”
The school district said under Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, it could not provide updates on the condition of the affected students.