Health officials say recent meningitis cases are not related, but urge caution

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CLEVELAND -- This time of year, we’re often most worried about getting sick with the cold or flu.

“Everywhere you go, because you’re touching things constantly and you have to be very careful,” says Emma Gordon, a grandmother of two who was out shopping in University Heights.

A Cleveland Heights – University Heights City School District representative says parents at Heights Middle School will be notified Monday of a staff member who contracted bacterial meningitis over winter break.

Scott Wortman with the district said the school will be cleaned and thoroughly disinfected while students are away.

Unlike the common cold or flu, meningitis is much more serious, but it is also harder to spread. Meningitis requires lengthy and direct contact with an infected person to be spread.

People who live in the area were shocked at hearing the news and are glad to hear the school is taking every precaution to keep kids safe.

Earlier this month, two people died from meningitis in Tuscarawas County. The health department there said the two cases were unrelated and that the public had no reason to fear exposure of the disease.

Katie Steward with the Tuscarawas County Health Department still reminded people of some of the signs of meningitis.

“As always, people who experience symptoms of meningitis including fever, chills, headache, stiff neck and back, nausea and vomiting should seek medical attention necessary,” Steward said.

Wortman said the plan is for students to be back in school as scheduled on January 8.

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