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School Health Reference Guide

COMMUNICABLE DISEASE

The Region of Peel School Health Reference Guide is a supplementary resource to relevant Peel and Dufferin-Peel school board policies. Refer to school board policy first if you have questions or concerns.

Childhood Diseases and Illnesses

Meningitis
Description/Symptoms
  • Caused by both bacteria and viruses.
  • An infection of the membranes and fluid covering the brain and spinal cord.
  • Symptoms have a rapid onset and severity. They include: fever, headache, stiff neck (unwillingness to move head up and down), nausea, vomiting, sometimes a rash, confusion, irritability and drowsiness.
  • Viral meningitis:
    • Is usually mild and less serious. The virus is found in the feces and respiratory discharges.
    • Complications are rare and most people get better on their own. Antibiotics are not useful in treating or preventing viral meningitis.
    • A person may be admitted to hospital for observation and a spinal tap to rule out bacterial meningitis.
  • Bacterial meningitis:
    • Is more severe
    • The three most common bacteria to cause this are Haemophilus influenza B, Neisseria meningitides and Streptococcus pneumoniae.
    • These bacteria are spread through nose and throat discharges of a healthy person.
    • It is spread by people who are not sick but carry the bacteria.
    • When a person is ill with bacterial meningitis they require hospitalization and antibiotic treatment.
Instructions for Schools
  • Report immediately to Peel Public Health at 905-799-7700.
  • There are no specific control measures or follow up for contacts of viral or Streptococci pneumococcal meningitis.
  • For contacts of meningitis due to haemophilus influenza B or Neisseria meningitides, Peel Public Health will advise a specific antibiotic and/or vaccination, if necessary.
  • Close contacts are persons living in the same household or those who may have shared saliva with the infected person (e.g. kissing, sharing toys, food and drinks).
  • Meningitis is not highly contagious and therefore is not easily spread.
  • Avoid activities that would result in sharing saliva.
  • Encourage thorough hand washing and respiratory etiquette.
  • Remember to protect the confidentiality of the student by not disclosing a diagnosis to concerned parents and/or colleagues. If contact follow up of those exposed is required, Peel Public Health will contact those who are at risk.
Notes

Disclaimer:
Peel Public Health is not responsible for the content of the linked websites.


For more information on communicable disease resources and programs,
call Peel Public Health at 905-799-7700.(In Caledon, call 905-584-2216.)
 

www.peelregion.ca

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Revised: Tuesday January 12 2016