Fear, Concern Over Bacterial Meningitis Hits Local High School

BARBRERTON, Ohio - Fear and concern over bacterial meningitis has hit the town of Barberton after a student at the high school was diagnosed with what is likely the disease, 19/43 News' Bill Younkin reported.

Sophomore Savannah Campbell, 15, was improving at Akron Children's Hospital on Tuesday, but the fact that she contracted what is likely bacterial meningitis has left parents of other Barberton High School students uneasy.

Absenteeism at the school was up, as was the number of parents taking their teen-agers to local emergency rooms. Nearly 200 students didn't show up on Tuesday, which is more than two times the normal amount.

"One more case of it, and my kid is out of here," concerned parent Carol Greene said. "I've home-schooled before, and I'll do it again."

Campbell was taken to the hospital on Sunday, where she was tested, and it was determined that she likely had the most dangerous type of meningitis. Her friends and family members are said to be taking antibiotics as a precaution.

Health experts have urged parents not to overreact because they said that bacterial meningitis is not easily spread. Flyers were sent home with students on Monday to inform parents about the facts regarding bacterial meningitis.

Saying it's better to be safe than sorry, however, students that did go to school on Tuesday received some last-minute advice.

"They told us not to drink after anybody, and don't drink out of the water fountains because (Campbell) might have drank out of them," student Ashley Menhorn said. "It's scary."