Sick child forces "precautionary" closure of McCreary schools Monday

A quick decision to close every school in McCreary County came Sunday night, after a 9 year old was taken to a Somerset Hospital. Doctors soon learned the girl's condition was every serious.

“(They) ran a few tests, some diagnosis, and decided to fly the girl to UK (Medical Center),” said McCreary County Superintendent Arthur Wright on Monday.

Wright said the girl attended Pine Knot Primary...which has grades Kindergarten through 3rd grades. Wright says when schools were closed they didn't know what was wrong with the girl.

“Some of it… they said was flu like symptoms,” said Wright.

It's since been confirmed the girl did not have meningitis as first feared. Instead..she has a condition known as encephalitis.

Health officials in Somerset say they're not exactly sure what kind of encephalitis the girl has. Basically it's an infection of the brain caused by mosquitoes and ticks in rural areas. They say it can be contagious, but only in very close contact.

Just to be on the safe officials had janitors thoroughly clean all the schools..and even the buses.

“Just want to let all the parents and students and teachers know we're taking every precautionary measure we can,” said Wright.

Health officials say the child is now in stable condition at UK’s pediatric ward.

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