Metrobus driver has viral meningitis, WMATA says

Metro is warning bus passengers who rode on a couple routes Friday morning that they may have been exposed to viral meningitis.

WMATA says a driver with the disease drove three routes that morning between 7:13 a.m. and 10:18 a.m.

The specific routes include:
-Route 52, which left 14th and Buchanan streets NW at 7:13 a.m. and went to L'Enfant Plaza
-Route 54, which left L'Enfant Plaza at 8:03 a.m. and went to 14th and Colorado streets NW
-Route 52, which left 14th and Colorado streets NW at 9:00 a.m. and went to L'Enfant Plaza

Metro says the bus the man drove has been removed from service so it can be sanitized. Metro also planned to disinfect all 164 buses that are based at the agency's Northern Division on Monday night. WMATA officials say they don't believe the employee had exposure to any other company vehicle or bus.

WMATA says the employee had just returned from vacation on Friday.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, viral meningitis is less severe than its bacterial counterpart. People with normal immune symptoms usually recover completely after about 7-10 days, but WMATA says that anyone who presents with symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light or an altered mental status, should consult a doctor.

Riders who take the 52 and 54 routes say the news a driver had viral meningitis makes them nervous.

“That’s just scary, man,” said Metrobus rider Ernest Cleveland.

Metro says it is relying on local media and social media to get the word out to riders about the driver with viral meningitis.

Riders tell ABC7 there were no warnings posted in the buses themselves and the drivers weren’t telling people about the situation on Monday. Some felt Metro should do more to warn people.

Metro stated it was alerting riders via the media and social media.