Sunday, September 21, 2008

Preventative Medicine: Get a Meningitis Vaccine

Is meningitis preventable?

The majority of cases among adolescents are potentially vaccine preventable so it is important to know about meningococcal meningitis.

Since it is difficult to recognize and diagnose in those first crucial hours after onset, vaccination is the only prevention.

In the United States, there are about 3,000 cases of meningococcal disease every year affecting all age groups. The disease is a serious, potentially fatal bacterial infection. Left untreated, it can progress rapidly. Within hours of the first symptoms, shock and serious complications can occur. Prompt action can make the difference between life and death. The symptoms of meningitis include high fever, rash, headache, stiff neck, confusion, nausea, vomiting and exhaustion.

Infants, adolescents and young adults are at the highest risk of contracting meningococcal meningitis. Frequently meningococcal meningitis is not diagnosed properly which could be conceived as medical malpractice.

With college students living so close together, students should definitely be vaccinated.

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