LIBERTY LAKE, Wash. (5/12/09)--Spokane Teachers CU (STCU) members who recently used the Liberty Lake and Cheney branches have been notified that an employee who worked at both branches was hospitalized with viral meningitis. The credit union issued the alert Friday to make members aware of the situation, even though the risk of spreading the disease is considered low (The Spokesman-Review May 9). Anyone who feels ill and is experiencing a fever, headache or stiff neck should talk to a physician, the newspaper said. STCU management also has disinfected work areas and is offering hand sanitizers to credit union staff and members, the paper added. The credit union’s actions occurred during the nation’s heightened awareness of pandemic illnesses brought about by the H1N1 (swine) flu. Knowing whether meningitis is caused by a virus or bacterium is important because the severity of illness and the treatment differ. Viral meningitis is generally less severe and resolves without specific treatment, while bacterial meningitis can be quite severe and may result in brain damage, hearing loss, or learning disability (www.cdc.gov).