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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  • by Anonymous on Apr 14, 2009 at 01:13 PM
    This further proves the eccentric behavior of Judge Stephens. If you have ever been in her courtroom, you should know what I mean. Her panicked actions over an unsubstantiated medical condition demonstrate her irrational conduct. This oddball behavior should not be rewarded. She should be monitored by the higher ups and the news media.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 23, 2008 at 08:47 AM
    who is the attorney?
  • by Anonymous on Jan 23, 2008 at 05:15 AM
    It is good to see that a Judge is concerned about his/her employees and the well being of the citizens who enter the courtroom.
  • by Fan of Justice Location: Eastern, KY on Jan 22, 2008 at 04:22 PM
    Judge Stephen's is a top notch judge to consider other's health goes to show that others truly do care for other's health. Thank you Judge Stephen for considering other's health.

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