DRACUT -- Parents of Dracut High School and Lakeview Junior High School students received automated calls from the School District Wednesday informing them a student has been diagnosed with viral meningitis.

Superintendent of Schools Steven Stone said Thursday morning the child's parent informed the school district of their child's diagnosis, which is considered the most common and least dangerous form of meningitis.

"Medical tests (on the student) are ongoing, but it is a suspected case of viral meningitis, which is nowhere near as dangerous as bacterial meningitis or the cases of fungal meningitis that have caused the deaths that we've seen in the news recently," said Stone.

Stone said he could not provide further identification of the student.

The two school buildings are in the same complex.

The Dracut School District followed recommended protocol by notifying parents via automated phone message, and is keeping in communication with the state and local Boards of Health on the matter, Stone said. The district also posted a notice online on the high school and junior high Web pages.

"Hopefully the child is doing better and the problem will resolve itself," said Stone.

Stone said the Dracut student's viral meningitis diagnosis is believed to be unrelated to the nationwide outbreak of fungal meningitis that has affected 137 victims who received spinal injections of a contaminated drug, methylprednisolone acetate, manufactured by New England Compounding Company in Framingham.


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As of Thursday, the nationwide death toll from the outbreak caused by taking the contaminated drug was 14, and an estimated 13,000 patients were at risk because they had received injections of the drug, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.