Meningitis Scare Delays District Court

By: Marie Luby Email
By: Marie Luby Email

Things are back to normal today at the Perry County District Courthouse after a meningitis scare caused a judge to cancel a court session.

Judge Stephens held court Thursday afternoon after a thorough scrubbing in her courtroom.

Perry County District court Judge Leigh Ann Stephens closed district court Tuesday morning when she found out one of the county's attorneys was quarantined in the hospital possibly with meningitis.

“We've got some Clorox and the janitors are coming up, we're going to just make sure that everything's clean,” Judge Stephens said.

While the judge and her staff suited up to clean the courtroom, health department officials checked to make sure it was not a case of the potentially deadly Bacterial Meningitis.

“We checked it out and in this particular case there's no evidence of bacterial meningitis,” David Reese, Epidemiologist, said.

Officials say the attorney may have viral meningitis, which is less severe and treatable, but still contagious.

“If they blow their nose or sneeze in their hands and then they touch something and you touch that thing they touched, or they shake hands with you and then you rub your hands in your eyes, it's the same way you would get the flu,” Reese said.

Stephens says she's not taking any chances in her courtroom.

“The state sends us big 16-ounce cans of industrial strength Lysol and we spray every day because of the Staph infections at the jail,” Judge Stephens said.

Health department officials say this case is no reason to panic.

Most people with viral meningitis don't show symptoms, but in some cases have a high fever, headache, and nausea.

Most patients also recover own their own with rest and plenty of fluids.

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