Children at a Knox County child care center become ill with meningitis. The child care center closes for the week.
(WBIR-Powell) The Knox County Health Department confirmed Tuesday that several cases of viral meningitis have a connection with a local daycare.
Dr. Martha Buchanan, Knox Co. Health Department director, said those cases have a connection to the 'Mudpies & Music' child care in Powell, but cannot provide specifics on ages or the number of people infected. The health department has not issued a notification yet because they just learned about the cases.
Health officials said some people who were sick have already recovered. The child care voluntarily closed Monday to ensure the safety of the staff and children. Dr. Buchanan said they did not shut down 'Mudpies & Music' because it's the child care's decision.
Kara McKamey, owner of 'Mudpies & Music', said, "When our children are sick, if they have any symptoms here at the center they are sent home. Parents come and get them and then at that point we always ask our parents to let us know what the doctor says and let us know what the diagnosis is so we can follow-up and inform other parents."
Dr. Buchanan said whenever there are cases with similarities, the health department begins investigating the cause of the virus. Local health officials said their role is to find the origin of the virus by gathering information from patients, getting lab samples, and doing what they can to stop the virus from spreading. They're also working with the Tennessee Department of Health, hospitals, and labs to find any new cases.
If parents have concerns that their child is sick, they should seek medical advice from a doctor. Symptoms of meningitis include severe headaches, a very still neck (hurts so bad you can't nod your head), and a very high fever (greater than 101 degrees).
Once we learn more details about these cases, we'll share them on wbir.com and 10News.