Health officials: Rumors of meningitis outbreak in Danville are false

Health officials: Rumors of meningitis outbreak in Danville are false

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DANVILLE — If you hear about a scary meningitis outbreak in Vermilion County, relax. It's a false rumor.

The health department said there have been several unsubstantiated reports of local cases of bacterial meningitis — the more serious, potentially life-threatening type of meningitis.

"Currently, we are aware of two patients from Vermilion County who are being treated for viral meningitis and two other suspected (cases) who are awaiting confirmation from the lab," said Douglas Toole, the health department's administrator.

People with a viral form of meningitis appear acutely ill, but usually recover within a few days, he said.

Both the health department and the Carle health system have both gotten inquiries about bacterial meningitis in Vermilion County, and Carle spokeswoman Jamie Mullin said it appears the rumor is spreading via social-media posts.

Both viral and bacterial forms of meningitis come with an onset of fever, headache and a stiff neck, but bacterial forms can progress to a much more serious illness.

The viral form is a bit more flu-like, Mullin said.

"It tends to correct itself with rest and hydration," she said.

The last case of bacterial meningitis in Vermilion County was in 2011, according to Toole.

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