Day care linked to viral meningitis closes for the week

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POWELL, Tenn. (WVLT)-- More than 60 children are enrolled in Mudpies & Music, and play on its playground each day. But the next few weeks will be quiet and empty.

The day care center in Powell closed Monday after it was linked to two cases of viral meningitis.

"We just thought this was a good time to close down and give everyone a break," owner Kara McKamey said. "It was a voluntary decision."

The decision was a precaution, and a chance to give the center a deep cleaning to kill any viruses that may be circulating.

The Knox County Health Department is now working to learn more about where the virus originated.

"Our big goals are to find out what the cause is, get information out to those people who need to know and stop any new cases from occurring," said Dr. Martha Buchanan. "My staff is working really hard to do all of those things."

The symptoms of meningitis include: severe headaches, stiff neck, high fever, and sometimes nausea and vomiting.

Health officials advise anyone who experiences those symptoms should see a doctor to be checked out.

Meningitis can be serious, according to Dr. Buchanan. That's why McKamey chose to take precaution.

"They (parents) were very thankful and appreciative of our decision to close because they know it helps everyone's child in the long run," she said.

Mudpies & Music will reopen next week.

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