Two football players diagnosed with illnessILWACO, Wash. - At least two football players at Ilwaco High School have confirmed cases of viral meningitis, the Pacific County Health Department says.

One player was diagnosed on Friday and the other on Saturday.

The number of students with meningitis could climb to 12 or more, county Health Director Kathy Spoor said.

All school-related events were canceled during the weekend because of the illnesses, Spoor said.

Classes at Ilwaco High School and Ilwaco Junior High, a combined school from grades seven through 12 with 566 students, were held as scheduled today.

Viral meningitis symptoms include severe headaches, stiff necks and nausea.

Although meningitis sounds threatening, Spoor said the viral variety is mild to moderate in nature.

"The kids who've been diagnosed are doing well, they're recovering," she said. "It typically runs its course in five to seven days."

Some physicians have diagnosed other athletes with the viral disease without performing a spinal tap, which is usually performed to find signs of meningitis.

"Different practitioners are diagnosing based on the fact that (the athletes) were exposed," she said.

Viral meningitis is less serious than bacterial meningitis, which can be fatal, Spoor said.

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