Viral meningitis outbreak in North Georgia -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Viral meningitis outbreak in North Georgia

August 5, 2003

Albany -- South Georgia school systems are being warned about a viral meningitis outbreak in the northern part of the state. 300 cases of viral meningitis have been reported this year in Augusta, Atlanta, and Gainesville.

Most have been students, with an average age of sixteen. Viral meningitis is much milder than the deadly bacterial disease.

State health workers are urging people to wash their hands to battle the virus. District Epidemiologist Jacqueline Jenkins said "Talk to their kids about good hand washing. Using warm soapy water about 20 to 30 seconds. One of the things we are saying the kids can sing the "Happy Birthday" song while they are doing it, washing their hands."

The viral meningitis outbreak has Georgia on track to double it's usual number of cases in a typical year. Symptoms of viral meningitis include headache, fever, sore neck, and nausea.

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