The Lassen County Public Health Department is investigating one confirmed case and 21 suspected cases of viral meningitis, most of which are reported to be in connection with  Lassen High School football team. 

Earlier, it said that there were four confirmed cases.

Public Health says it is working closely with medical providers to ensure prompt identification, reporting, and investigation of patients who present with signs and symptoms of Viral Meningitis.

At this time Lassen High School and Lassen Community College will be closed effective immediately for Thursday, September 28, 2017, and Friday, September 29, 2017. Extracurricular activities have also been ordered to be canceled. At this time schools will tentatively re-open on Monday, October 2, 2017. No other closures have been issued at this time. 

Viral Meningitis is a common disease caused by a virus that infects the brain and spinal cord. It is not the same as bacterial meningitis; it is less severe and most people recover fully within a week.

If you believe you have been exposed to the illness and are experiencing symptoms consistent with the disease, it is important that you do not go to work or school and seek medical treatment.

Viral Meningitis symptoms include:
• Fever
• Headache
• Sensitivity to light 
• Stiff neck
• Fatigue

Some people may have a rash, sore throat, diarrhea, vomiting.

• Like any illness good personal hygiene such as frequent hand washing.

Wash your hands with soap and water; hand sanitizer may not be effective against certain viruses. 

Wash your hands 
* Before eating, drinking or preparing food. 
* After using the bathroom or changing diapers
* After coughing or sneezing 
* After touching your nose or mouth

• Do not share drinks, food, eating utensils, lipstick or other items that may have come into contact with someone else’s saliva.

• If you are caring for someone with viral meningitis, your chances of getting meningitis are very low, but you should wash your hands frequently and clean surfaces that come in contact with the person’s saliva, nose secretions, or feces with soap and water. 

• Disinfect items with dilute bleach (1/4 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water)

(Lassen County Public Health contributed to this report.)