Web Zap*Germs Archive

May 29, 2005

Meningitis Vaccine Meets a Real Need

Every few months, I see another article about one or more school kids sickened by/dying from meningitis (a bacterial infection of the brain from Neisseria meningitidis, or meningococcus). It shows up on high-school and college campuses in particular (though a New Jersey nurse just died of the disease) as it spreads through close contact including coughing, sneezing, kissing or sharing cups, bottles or utensils. Thankfully it is treatable by antibiotics.

(The CDC has detailed info on meningitis symptoms and treatment.)

The US FDA recently approved a meningitis vaccine called Menactra, and the CDC is recommending that kids receive that vaccination at ages 11-12, or before they enter either high school or college. Good thing to think of now, as we enter summer break.

--> If you have friends who should be vaccinated, click on the envelope graphic below to forward this post to them.

Just a thought: I wonder what role African dust storms play in US meningitis outbreaks?


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