Concerned Someone May Have Meningitis
I am worried that someone may have meningitis, but I am worried about getting urgent medical advice with the current pandemic
Meningitis is a life threatening condition requiring urgentdiagnosis and treatment. During this pandemic, our advice remains the same – ifyou think someone has meningitis, do not delay, seek urgent medical advice bycalling NHS 111 or your GP surgery. In an emergency dial 999.
Is It Too Late To Get Vaccinated
The answer to this question isnt so clear-cut. If you have an unvaccinated teen headed off to college, there is still time for them to get their vaccines. Your child may also need another shot if they had the vaccine as a preteen. Meningitis vaccines are thought to only last for about five years, according to the Center for Young Womens Health.
Adults can also get the meningitis vaccine if their doctors recommend it. Certain situations can warrant the use of meningitis vaccinations. Examples include spleen removal, going to military camp, or traveling overseas.
There Are Three Types Of Meningococcal Vaccines:
- The meningococcal C vaccine that protects against infection from one of the most common types of meningococcal bacteria, type C.
- The meningococcal quadrivalent vaccine that protects against 4 types of meningococcal bacteria: types A, C, Y and W-135.
- The meningococcal B vaccine that protects against infection by one of the most common types of meningococcal bacteria, type B.
The type of vaccine recommended depends on a person’s age and risk factors.
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Meningitis: Deadly Debilitating And Associated With Covid
In the midst of the fight against COVID-19, its important to acknowledge the many other diseases competing with the coronavirus for the time and resources of our healthcare facilities. Healthcare professionals are providing care and treatment not only for the coronavirus but for other diseases as well, many of which continue to take lives and add to the burdens healthcare facilities face around the world.
Among the many diseases competing against COVID-19 for healthcare resources is Meningitis. Meningitis is the inflammation of the protective membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord, most often caused by a bacterial or viral infection. The disease is deadly and debilitating, it strikes quickly, and it affects people of all ages. Discussion of the first known case of meningitis associated with SARS-CoV-2 is published in the May 2020 volume of the International Journal of Infectious Diseases, showing the neuroinvasive potential of the virus.
Viral meningitis is the most common type of meningitis, and it is often less severe than bacterial meningitis. Bacterial meningitis can lead to death within 24 hours, and it leaves one in five patients with lifelong disability after infection. Often, deaths from meningitis are vaccine-preventable, but according to the World Health Organization , progress in defeating meningitis lags behind other vaccine-preventable diseases.
How Long Do Meningococcal Vaccines Last
Like many vaccines, the protective effects of meningococcal vaccines lessen over time. Thats why booster doses are important for teens and other people at high risk for meningococcal disease.
Experts believe that within 5 years, the effects of MenACWY vaccines in teens begin to wear off. For the MenB vaccines, its suggested that protection goes down within 1 to 2 years after getting the vaccine series.
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How And When Should You Receive The Meningococcal Vaccine
In most cases, adults only need one dose. But if you remain at risk, you may need a booster.
Some adults may need another type of meningitis vaccine, the serogroup B meningococcal vaccine, if they are exposed to this virus through work or travel or if they have a damaged or missing spleen, or certain immune system disorders.
Heres Who Should Consider Getting The Meningitis B Vaccine
The CDC currently states that anyone 10 and up should get the vaccine in the following circumstances:
The CDC specifically calls out that it can be beneficial for people who are 16 to 23especially 16 to 18to get vaccinated against meningitis B.
If youre hoping to reduce your childs risk of getting meningitis B and other forms of meningococcal disease, talk to their doctor about vaccination. Now you have the information, you can decide how to best protect your childand help them protect themselves.
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Where To Get It
A person may get the vaccine from local health centers, pharmacies, community health clinics, private clinics, health departments, and community locations, such as schools and religious centers.
Under the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, Health Insurance Marketplace plans and most private insurance plans cover the meningococcal vaccine, as well as several other vaccines.
Meningococcal Disease Is A Medical Emergency:
Understanding the characteristic signs and symptoms of meningococcal disease is critical and possibly lifesaving, because meningococcal disease can cause serious illness and rapidly progress to death if untreated.
Meningococcal disease is difficult to detect because it can be mistaken for other conditions. A person may have flu-like symptoms for a few days before experiencing a rapid progression to severe meningococcal disease.
Meningococcal disease is contagious. If you experience symptoms, or you may have been exposed, immediately, day or night, at 734-764-8320 and request urgent Nurse Advice, or go to an emergency room. Also see Emergency/After Hours
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Are Students Required To Get Meningococcal Vaccine Before College
Yes. Massachusetts law requires the following students receive quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine :
- Secondary School : newly enrolled full-time students who will be living in a dormitory or other congregate housing licensed or approved by the secondary school must provide documentation of having received a dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine at any time in the past.
- Postsecondary Institutions : newly enrolled full-time students 21 years of age and younger must provide documentation of having received a dose of quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine on or after their 16th birthday, regardless of housing status.
Immunizations should be obtained prior to enrollment or registration however, students may be enrolled or registered provided that the required immunizations are obtained within 30 days of registration. There is no requirement for meningococcal B vaccination. However, adolescents and young adults may also be vaccinated with a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine, preferably at 16 through 18 years of age, to provide short term protection for most strains of serogroup B meningococcal disease.
More information about requirements and exemptions may be found in the MDPH document Information about Meningococcal Disease, Meningococcal Vaccines, Vaccination Requirements and the Waiver for Students at Colleges and Residential Schools.
Have There Been Outbreaks Of Meningitis B
From 2011 through March 2019, colleges and universities reported meningitis B outbreaks on 13 college campuses during this time there were 50 meningitis B cases, including 2 deaths among an at-risk population of approximately 253,000 students.*
*An outbreak is defined as 23 outbreak-associated cases within a 3-month time period.
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The Meningitis B Vaccine Can Help Prevent This Deadly Illness
Weve told you the scary stuff, now heres the part where we give you some reassuring news. First, any form of meningococcal diseaseincluding meningitis Bis relatively rare, and incidents have been on the decline in the last few decades. The CDC says that in 2017, there were about 350 total cases of meningococcal disease reported. Thats 0.11 cases per 100,000 people.
The other good news is that you can reduce your childs risk of getting meningitis B by making sure they get the meningitis B vaccine. The reason that we vaccinate against things is that they are severe diseases, even if they occur rarely, Adam J. Ratner, M.D., director of the division of Pediatric Infectious Disease at NYU Langone and associate professor in both the department of Pediatrics and department of Microbiology at NYU Langone, tells SELF.
The meningitis B vaccine introduces your body to a specific part of the bacteria cell, combined with whats called an adjuvantan extra material that helps boost the effectiveness of the immune responseso your body learns to produce antibodies that target that bacteria. Your body does not see the whole bacteria, and so it’s impossible to get the infection from the vaccine itself, Dr. Vyas explains. Theres more than one meningitis B vaccine available, but both require at least two doses for maximum effectiveness.
Common And Local Adverse Events
Conjugate meningococcal vaccines
Injection site reactions occur in up to 59% of vaccinees. Fever is reported in up to 5% of recipients and systemic reactions, such as headache and malaise, are reported in up to 60% of recipients.
Mild reactions, including injection site reactions , occur in up to 50% of vaccine recipients. Irritability occurs in up to 80% of infants and fever in up to 9% when other vaccines were administered. Headaches and malaise occur in up to 10% of older children and adults. These reactions last no more than a few days.
Serogroup B Meningococcal vaccines
Solicited local and systemic reactions have been commonly reported in clinical trials and include injection site tenderness, induration, sleepiness and irritability. Higher rates of fever have been observed with simultaneous administration of 4CMenB vaccine and routine infant vaccines therefore, routine prophylactic administration of acetaminophen or separating 4CMenB vaccination from routine vaccination schedule has been proposed for preventing fever in infants and children up to three years of age.
Solicited local and systemic reactions have been commonly reported in clinical trials and include injection site tenderness, induration and irritability.
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Who Should Get The Meningococcal Vaccines
The MenACWY vaccine is recommended for college freshman living in a dormitory. The vaccine has been recommended for 11-12 year olds since 2005, so it is possible that incoming freshmen have already received a dose. If you received a dose before age 16, you should get a booster before you go to college.
Meningitis B Is A Rare But Very Serious Disease
As the Mayo Clinic explains, meningitis is inflammation of the membrane that surrounds your brain and spinal cord . According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , meningitis B is caused by the bacteria N. meningitidis. Illnesses caused by this bacteria are referred to broadly as meningococcal diseases.
The B in meningitis B refers to a serogroupa subtypeof N. meningitidis. The CDC notes that the five other serogroups that most commonly cause meningococcal disease are A, C, W, X, and Y.
The CDC explains that N. meningitidis already lives in the mouths and throats of about 10 percent of the population without causing any problems. It can be spread through spit and saliva, but is less contagious than viruses like the common cold or flu. It takes close, prolonged contact, e.g., kissing someone who is a meningitis B carrier, or being in the same room with them for a prolonged period of time while theyre coughing. Outbreaks are rare, but when they do occur, its often among people in cramped living conditions, such as army barracks or college dorms.
These are the main symptoms, as defined by the CDC, but this disease can often present in a more nuanced wayyou can read more about meningitis B symptoms here:
- A stiff neck
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Symptoms And Causative Agent
Neisseria meningitidis bacteria, also called meningococcus , are an important cause of bacterial meningitis and sepsis in the United States. Meningococci can also cause pneumonia, otitis media , arthritis, and other infections, although these are less common. Collectively, the different illnesses caused by N. meningitidis are referred to as meningococcal disease.
Meningococcal meningitis symptoms include fever, headache, confusion and stiff neck, which may also be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light. Meningococcal bacteremia symptoms include sudden fever onset and rash. Other forms of meningococcal disease have symptoms related to the organ affected: otitis media has ear pain arthritis has joint pain and swelling.
Invasive meningococcal disease can be fatal survivors may have permanent injury, including brain damage, hearing loss, or loss of a limb.
Meningitis Can Kill Within 24 Hours The Vaccine On The Other Hand Is Extremely Safe
Bacterial meningitis is a killer. It comes out of nowhere, and before you even realize youre infected, its already done serious damage, disabling and even killing its victims. The fatality rate can be up to 12 percent, and 20 percent of those who survive are left with permanent injuries such as brain damage, hearing loss, or loss of a limb. In the mid-1990s, cases surged to 1.2 cases per 100,000 people. Babies faced the most danger, but teens and young adults were also at high risk, often falling victim to the disease in their college dorm rooms, where students lived in group settings in close proximity. Thankfully, the disease landscape has changed dramatically since the introduction of the meningitis vaccinein 2005. As of 2019, cases were barely 10 percent of what they had once been two decades ago.
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Available Vaccines And Vaccination Campaigns
Five serogroupsgroups of bacteria that contain a common antigen that can generate an immune responseare collectively responsible for nearly all invasive meningococcal disease: groups A, B, C, Y, and W-135. Four of these are covered by quadrivalent meningococcal vaccines used in the United States.
There are two main types of meningococcal vaccines. A meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine has been available since the 1970s. However, like the polysaccharide vaccine against pneumococcal disease, it is most effective in adults and does not consistently generate immunity in young children.
The first conjugate meningococcal vaccine in the United States, MCV4 , was licensed in 2005, with a second, MenACWY-CRM , licensed in 2010. These are the preferred vaccines for individuals between two years and 55 years of age Menactra is approved for ages two to 55, and Menveo for ages 11 to 55.
Vaccines for group B meningococcal disease were licensed in the United States in 2014 and 2015. MenB-FHbp is a two-dose vaccine.
Bacterial Meningitis: Eyes Nose And Mouth Secretions Birth Blood And Unclean Hands
Bacterial meningitis occurs when an infection in the body spreads to the meninges, which are the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. Some infections are more likely to spread to the brain than others.
Group B Streptococcus, for example, are normally harmless bacteria that an infant can get during birth. They may spread to the brain, causing meningitis.
The bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae are the most common cause in people of most other ages, while bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis most commonly cause meningitis in children aged 1117 years.
A person can get bacterial meningitis from
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Persons New To Canada
Health care providers who see persons newly arrived in Canada should review the immunization status and update immunization for these individuals. Review of meningococcal vaccination status is particularly important for persons from areas of the world where sickle cell disease is present as persons with sickle cell disease are at risk of serious meningococcal infections. In many countries outside of Canada, conjugate meningococcal vaccines are in limited use. Information on vaccination schedules in other countries can be found on the World Health Organization website. Refer to Immunization of Persons New to Canada in Part 3 for additional general information.
What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Meningococcal Vaccines
Some of the most common side effects are swelling, redness, and pain at the site of the injection, along with headache, fever, or tiredness. Serious problems, such as allergic reactions, are rare.
The meningococcal vaccines contains only a small piece of the germ, so it can’t cause meningococcal disease.
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Meningococcal Vaccination Guidelines For Adults
Most adults do not need to be immunized for meningitis because they fall in a low-risk group. But, talk with your doctor about the vaccination if you:
Are a first-year college student living in a dormitory who did not previously receive a meningococcal vaccination or are unsure if you received it
Are a military recruit
Have a damaged spleen or had your spleen removed
Have been exposed to meningitis
Have complement component deficiency
When Are Meningococcal Vaccines Given
Vaccination with MenACWY is recommended:
- when kids are 11 or 12 years old, with a booster given at age 16
- for teens 1318 years old who haven’t been vaccinated yet
Those who have their first dose between the ages of 1315 should get a booster dose between the ages of 1618. Teens who get their first dose after age 16 won’t need a booster dose.
Kids and teens who are at higher risk for meningococcal disease need the full series of MenACWY vaccines, even if they’re younger than 11 years old. This includes kids who:
- live in or travel to countries where the disease is common
- are present during an outbreak of the disease
- have some kinds of immune disorders. If the immune disorders are chronic, these kids also need a booster dose a few years later, depending on their age at the first dose.
The sequence and dosage depends on the child’s age, medical condition, and vaccine brand. Some types of meningococcal vaccines can be given as early as 8 weeks of age.
Kids 10 years and older with these risk factors also should get the MenB vaccine. They’ll need 2 or 3 doses depending on the brand. They might need more booster doses as long as the risk factor remains.
For those without risk factors, the decision to receive the MenB vaccine should be made together by teens, their parents, and the doctor. For them, the preferred age range is 1618 years. Usually, they need 2 doses.
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