Cary-Grove student diagnosed with bacterial meningitis

CARY, Ill. (WLS) -- A student at Cary-Grove High School has been diagnosed with bacterial meningitis, McHenry County Health Department officials confirmed Monday morning.

The student was diagnosed on Friday by staff at the Centegra Hospital-McHenry after she was taken there by her parents. The family's physician then notified the McHenry County Health Department.

It is unclear how the student contracted the illness, county health officials said.

This is the third case of meningitis in as many years in McHenry County.

Health officials said they are reaching out to anyone who has had contact with the student. Over the weekend, school officials informed parents about the situation and took precautions to make sure the disease would not spread at the northwest suburban high school.

"We had a team yesterday at the building who did a deep disinfecting of the building ahead of today for students and staff to return to school," said Shannon Mortimer, of Community High School District 155.

The symptoms of meningitis include fever, headaches, muscle aches, neck stiffness, nausea, confusion and a skin rash of small, purplish-red dots.

Meningitis is not as contagious as a cold or the flu and is spread by coughing, sneezing, kissing or sharing eating utensils/drinking cups.

Meningitis is usually severe and can cause serious complications such as brain damage, hearing loss or learning disabilities.

Earlier this year, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced a new requirement that all students entering the 6th and 12th grades be required to show proof that they had a recent meningitis vaccination.
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