Pea Ridge Superintendent Rick Neal says the student was airlifted Friday to Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock with an unknown illness. On Tuesday, the Arkansas Department of Health told the school the student had contracted viral meningitis. The school disinfected all the surfaces the student contacted plus the bus and cafeteria. The school also sent out a fact sheet to parents provided by ADH.
The student's father, James Jones sent us a statement saying the meningitis diagnosis was a precautionary measure because of his symptoms. The student remains at Arkansas Children's Hospital. "He is hanging in there and we are praying daily," said Jones in a Facebook message.
Neal says he trusts the Jones family's statement completely but the school must take steps based on the Arkansas Department of Health Report. The school district cannot, by policy, change their stance on the situation unless the ADH makes a change to their diagnosis report.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, viral meningitis is an infection of the meninges (the covering of the brain and spinal cord) that is caused by a virus. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, photobia (sensitivity to light), and altered mental status.