Meningitis cases reported on rise - East Valley Tribune: News

Meningitis cases reported on rise

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Posted: Wednesday, July 2, 2003 10:47 am | Updated: 2:02 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

State and county health departments are warning the public to wash their hands and make sure children maintain good hygiene as the number of viral meningitis cases has increased significantly from last year.

No one has died, but at least 181 people have become sick from a variety of viral meningitis strains this year in Maricopa County.

Summertime is typically when cases increase. Last year, 74 cases were reported in the county through June and an estimated 224 for the year.

While the virus strikes all ages, children aged 7 to 14 and those with weak immune systems because of illness or medication are especially prone, said Douglas Hauth, spokesman for the Maricopa County Department of Public Health.

"I think it has a lot to do with summer, because people get a little lax in the heat," he said.

Hauth advised anyone feeling unusual flu symptoms to see a doctor for treatment, which could be as simple as taking aspirin and fluids. Symptoms include fever, headache, stiff neck, sensitivity to light, and in some cases nausea and vomiting.

The predominant source of the infections is from strains, including an outbreak of the echovirus type 30, commonly transmitted through fecal matter, experts said. For more information, go to www.cdc.gov.

No one has died, but at least 181 people have become sick from a variety of viral meningitis strains this year in Maricopa County.

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