This afternoon I learned from the Geauga County General Health District that a Lake County resident who attends Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin School has been diagnosed with bacterial meningitis. Because of our shared interest in the health and well-being of our students, NDCL is working closely with the Health District to provide you with clear, factual information about this disease. Bacterial meningitis is spread by close contact with the mouth and nose secretions of affected individuals. Casual contact or simply breathing the air where a person with meningitis has been will not spread the infection. The disease causes inflammation of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms of the disease include high fever, headache, and stiff neck. Preventive medication is recommended for household members and close friends who have shared drinks, toothbrushes, eating utensils, or other objects with oral contact. The health districts of Lake and Geauga counties, as well as the Ohio Department of Health, are investigating this case. NDCL is following the directions of these healthcare experts. Family members and close personal contacts have already been notified and provided with preventive antibiotics. If you have any questions about bacterial meningitis, please contact the Geauga County General Health Nurse at (440) 279-1950 or the Lake County General Health District at (440) 350-2554. Your local health department or family physician can also provide helpful information about this disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers a concise summary of the disease, its symptoms, and its treatment at this web address: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/DBMD/diseaseinfo/meningococcal_g.htm In addition to sharing the facts of bacterial meningitis with your family, please join me in praying for our student who is struggling with this disease.