Woodbridge student treated for meningitis

A ninth-grader at Woodbridge Senior High School has been hospitalized with bacterial meningitis.

While the student has not been publicly identified, school officials have notified parents of children who may have had a class with the teen or the student’s siblings at Fredland Elementary and Kilby Elementary schools. To prevent other students from contracting the disease, the siblings will be kept at home until doctors give them clearance to return to school.

According to information provided by WebMD, bacterial meningitis most often occurs in late to early spring. It is a disease of the central nervous system caused by certain types of bacteria and is characterized by inflammation of the membranes around the brain or spinal cord. The affliction can begin suddenly or develop gradually.

Parents should be aware that symptoms, which can last up to three weeks, may include fever, headache and a stiff neck, sometimes with aching muscles. Nausea, vomiting and other symptoms also may occur.

Bacterial meningitis can be life-threatening if not treated promptly with antibiotics, and its severity often depends on the person’s age, general state of health and the organism causing the infection, according to WebMD.

If a child displays any symptoms, parents should contact their physicians or visit the emergency room, school officials said.

They said they are staying in communication with Prince William County health officials on the situation and will release more information Monday.

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