Meningitis Outbreak - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Perry County, MO

Meningitis Outbreak

Meningitis Outbreak
By: CJ Cassidy

PERRY COUNTY, Mo. - Most people fear the worst when they hear about a meningitis outbreak, but Perry County, Missouri health officials say "Don't panic!"

There are 14 confirmed cases of viral meningitis in Perry County in less than a month. Usually experts say doctors only report a couple of cases a year.

Viral is the less serious form of meningitis.

Health experts say it can be spread in a variety of ways: through water, through saliva, mucus or fecal matter of an infected person, even through insects like mosquitoes. 

Right now they have not isolated a common cause among the 14 cases, and say they are working on it. 

In the meantime, they hope you stay safe, wash your hands frequently, don't eat or drink after one another, and avoid swalling water from pools, creeks or lakes.

Erika Worley of Perryville, said her eight-year-old son was one of the 14 infected, and she immediately took Kaleb to their family doctor when he began feeling nauseous and started vomiting. 

"They did a spinal tap on him, to draw out the spinal fluid and see what kind of meningitis he had, and turns out, he had viral meningitis," she said. 

Her son was treated at a Cape Girardeau hospital, and is doing fine now, but Worley said she was very worried while he was ill.

"You always think of the worst when you hear the word memingitis," Worley said. 

Kaleb is now back home safe and sound. 

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Perry County Memorial Hospital said patients have been canceling their appointments, for fear of contracting the virus. She said keep in mind, the virus is not airborne, so please do keep your scheduled appointment.             

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