Two cases of meningitis in Cherokee have been confirmed as of Saturday, according to Kim Rupp, public health nurse.
The specific type of meningitis is Neisseria Meningitis, a bacterial infection. Rupp could not provide any identifying information about the individuals or discuss their present condition, however, students at Washington High School were informed in an assembly on Friday that two high school students had suspected, at that time, cases of meningitis.
The students were informed that anyone who had prolonged contact or potential saliva contact (sharing of water bottles, of eating utensils, of musical instrument mouthpieces or kissing) with either students should contact the public health nurse office at 225-6718.
Those who have had such contact could be given an oral antibiotic. Rupp said that this pill would be given by the person's physician but the public health office should be contacted first.
There is a vaccine available but it takes a couple of weeks for it to be effective. Rupp noted that this vaccine should be considered for future exposure rather than for the possibility of previous contact.
At the Monday evening school board meeting, John Chalstrom, superintendent, said both students are doing much better.
Chalstrom commended the school district's nurse, Julie Paulsen, for the extra effort she put forward during a time of high concern by students and parents. She fielded many calls, made calls and kept administrators updated. Chalstrom also commended Larry Hunecke, high school principal, and other staff members for their extra efforts during this time.