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Bacterial Meningitis

Bacterial Meningitis

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Bacterial Meningitis

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  1. Bacterial Meningitis What you need to know to protect yourself

  2. What is bacterial meningitis? • Infection of a person's spinal cord fluid and the fluid that surrounds the brain • Two common types: 1. Viral - caused by a virus, less severe then bacterial meningitis and resolves without specific treatment 2. Bacterial – caused by a bacteria, quite severe and may result in brain damage, hearing loss, learning disabilities or death

  3. Is there a treatment? • Antibiotics – main treatment for bacterial meningitis • This does not always prevent death

  4. How might I get bacterial meningitis? • After intimate contact with an infected person • It is transmitted through droplets of respiratory and throat secretions - kissing, sharing toothbrushes or eating utensils, coughing, frequently eating or sleeping in the same dwelling as an infected individual

  5. How do I know if I have it? The infected person may have any of the following: • Stiff neck • Headache • Fever • Nausea/vomiting • Confusion • Drowsiness • Discomfort looking into bright lights • Seizures (in later stage)

  6. Who is at risk? • Anyone living in communal living conditions, such as in dormitories and military barracks • Persons with immune deficiencies, chronic illnesses and upper respiratory infections • Anyone exposed to cigarette smoke • Persons taking in high alcohol consumption • Low socioeconomic status individuals • Babies, during the first year of life • Persons between the ages of 15 -24 years old

  7. Why am I at risk? • Living in dormitories • May develop an upper respiratory infection • Age group: 17 – 24 years old • Exposed to persons at risk during mission trips, evangelizing, and day to day activities

  8. How can I prevent getting it? • Reduce stress • Get 7-9 hours of sleep a night • Hand washing • Keeping hands away from mouth and face • Don’t smoke • Don’t share utensils or toiletry equipment • Eat balanced meals • Avoid high alcohol consumption • Get vaccinated (best prevention)

  9. What is the Meningococcal vaccine? • Two types 1. Menomune (Meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine or MPSV4) 2. Menactra (Meningococcal conjugate vaccine or MCV4) Both give immunity to bacterial meningitis.

  10. Menomune • First developed (1982) • Immunity lasts approximately three to five years • Recommended for children 2 to 10 years old and adults over 55, but can also be used if Menactra is not available • Cost varies

  11. Menactra • Newer vaccine • Claims to induce a better and longer-lasting immune response than Menomune • Preferred vaccine for people 11 to 55 years of age • Cost varies

  12. How can I get vaccinated? • At University Medical Services (subject to availability) – Call to schedule an appointment (7862) • May contact family physician to obtain vaccine • May obtain vaccine at local health department

  13. Additional Resources • To find out more about meningitis visit the following websites: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/meningococcal_g.htm http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000608.htm http://www.meningitis.org/ • To find out more about the meningitis vaccines visit the following website: www.cdc.gov/nip