CHEVIOT, Ohio -- St. Martin of Tours Parish School canceled all Thursday and Friday classes in response to a student case of viral meningitis, principal Jason Fightmaster announced Wednesday afternoon.
After the the Hamilton County Health Department notified school officials a student had been diagnosed with the virus, which inflames membranes around the brain and spinal cord, those officials began to notice others reporting symptoms associated with the disease: Neck pain, fever and stiffness, among others.
"We want to ensure the safety of all our students, families and staff," Fightmaster wrote on Facebook. "After talking with Father Terry (Hamilton) and the Archdiocese, we have decided to take the precaution to close school tomorrow."
A cleaning company will disinfect the building while class is canceled, he said. Students will be sent home with "blizzard bags" of homework to complete on their days off, and Fightmaster encouraged them to avoid contact with one another in order to lessen the probability of transmitting the viral.
Although bacterial forms of meningitis pose a major threat to the patient's health and can necessitate amputations, viral meningitis is "neither as deadly nor as debilitating" as its cousin, according to the National Meningitis Association. With time and rest, most patients fully recover.
The student originally diagnosed with viral meningitis was resting and recovering by Wednesday afternoon, Fightmaster wrote.
St. Martin of Tours Parish School is a K-8 Catholic school adjacent to St. Martin of Tours Church in Cheviot.