Columbia, SC (WLTX) - News of an elementary schooler contracting viral meningitis in our state has a lot of folks worried. People flocked to Facebook asking: is it contagious? Is it deadly? Should I be worried about my kid?

We did some digging and here's what we found:

Meningitis is a swelling of the protective membranes covering the brain and the spinal cord.

Meningitis can be bacterial, fungal, parasitic, amebic, viral and non-infectious.

On Tuesday, doctors confirmed the diagnosis for viral meningitis in an elementary student in Union County, South Carolina. Turns out, Viral meningitis is the most common form. Most of the time, people can get better on their own after seven to ten days.

It spreads from close contact. It can be contracted at any age, but children under five have a higher risk along with people with weakened immune systems.

Symptoms include a sudden onset fever, headache, a stiff neck, nausea, light sensitivity, and confusion.

To avoid contracting it, the CDC recommends you wash your hands frequently and not touch your face.

Only a doctor can tell you if you have meningitis and what type it is, so if you're feeling the symptoms, the CDC advises you visit your healthcare provider.