What Are Meningitis And Meningococcal Disease
Meningitis is an inflammation of the linings around the brain and spinal cord. Meningitis can be caused by viruses or bacteria. Often, the symptoms of viral meningitis and bacterial meningitis are the same. Diagnosis of both viral and bacterial meningitis is confirmed by a lumbar puncture .
Viral meningitis is serious but rarely fatal in persons with normal immune systems. Usually, symptoms last 7-10 days and the person recovers completely. Many different viruses can cause meningitis. About 90% of cases of viral meningitis are caused by members of a group of viruses known as enteroviruses, such as coxsackieviruses and echoviruses. Herpes viruses and the mumps virus can also cause viral meningitis. There is no vaccination or treatment for viral meningitis .
Bacterial meningitis is of greater concern than viral meningitis, because it is associated with a significant risk of brain damage and death. Meningococcal meningitis, one type of bacterial meningitis, is of particular concern because while uncommon, it does affect college-age students and the disease may progress rapidly if untreated.
Guidance On Reporting Adverse Events Following Immunization
To ensure the ongoing safety of vaccines in Canada, reporting of AEFIs by vaccine providers and other clinicians is critical, and in some jurisdictions, reporting is mandatory under the law.
Vaccine providers are asked to report AEFIs, through local public health officials, and to check for specific AEFI reporting requirements in their province or territory. In general, any serious or unexpected adverse event felt to be temporally related to vaccination should be reported.
For additional information about AEFI reporting, please refer to Adverse events following immunization. For general vaccine safety information, refer to Vaccine safety and pharmacovigilance in Part 2.
Important Information About Bacterial Meningitis
- Rash or purple patches on skin
There may be a rash of tiny, red-purple spots caused by bleeding under the skin. These can occur anywhere on the body. The more symptoms, the higher the risk, so when these symptoms appear seek immediate medical attention.
- Diagnosis is made by a medical provider and is usually based on a combination of clinical symptoms and laboratory results from spinal fluid and blood tests.
- Early diagnosis and treatment can greatly improve the likelihood of recovery.
- Exposure to saliva by sharing cigarettes, water bottles, eating utensils, food, kissing, etc.
- Living in close conditions
- Permanent brain damage
- Limb damage that requires amputation
- Antibiotic treatment, if received early, can save lives and chances of recovery are increased. However, permanent disability or death can still occur.
- Vaccinations are available and should be considered for:
- Those living in close quarters
- College students 25 years old or younger
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Who Needs A Meningococcal Vaccine
The CDC recommends a meningococcal vaccine for:
- All children ages 11-18 or certain younger high-risk children
- Anyone who has been exposed to meningitis during an outbreak
- Anyone traveling to or living where meningitis is common, such as in sub-Saharan Africa
- Military recruits
- People with certain immune system disorders or a damaged or missing spleen
Once I Submit My Documentation How Do I Know If It Has Been Approved
Students can log in to the myUH self-service account and access their student account. From the left-hand navigation menu, select “Student Center”. Any holds on a student’s account are always listed in the right-hand column of the Student Center page. The student can be assured that the documentation was approved once the “Bacterial Meningitis” hold is removed.
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Who Should Not Get A Meningococcal Vaccine
Your preteen or teen shouldn’t get the meningococcal vaccine if they:
- Has had a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction to a meningococcal vaccine before or to any vaccine component
- Is moderately or severely ill
- Has ever had Guillain-Barre syndrome
Pregnant women can get the meningococcal vaccine, but it’s only recommended for those with certain immune problems or those likely to be exposed to meningitis. With the newer MCV4 and MenB vaccines, there hasn’t been as much study in pregnant women compared to the MPSV4 vaccine.
How Common Is Meningococcal Disease
Meningococcal disease is rare, striking annually about 1 in every 100,000 people in the general population. Rates in adolescents and young adults have increased over the last 10 years. The rate of meningococcal infection for students living in residence halls in the U.S. is about 2 in every 100,000 students. The rate of infection is highest among first year students living in residence halls, with about 5 in every 100,000 freshmen infected.
U-M reported a case of meningococcal meningitis in December 2014, November 2005 and in October 1995.
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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.
When To Get Vaccinated
The key to the meningitis vaccines is to make sure that your teen gets them at the right time. Your child may get the MCV4 vaccine if they are:
- Between 11 and 15 years old. After the initial MCV4 vaccine, your teen will get a booster shot after five years.
- After the age of 16. In this case, your teen wont need the booster shot. Important to note: Its better to get the vaccines earlier rather than later. This will help prevent meningitis during your teens high school years.
- First-year college students. This applies to those who havent received a diagnosis or missed their booster shots.
- Those deemed by a pediatrician to need extra protection. This is due to underlying illnesses. Examples include immune system disorders or a damaged spleen.
Technically, the MenB vaccine is approved for children over the age of 10. Your doctor might recommend a dose at a younger age if your child has immune system deficiencies. But MenB is usually taken around the age of 16. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends MenB shots for teens ages 16 to 18. However, it may be given to young adults up to 23 years old.
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What Are The Side Effects
About half of people who get a MenACWY vaccine have mild side effects following vaccination:
- Redness or pain where they got the shot
These reactions usually get better on their own within 1 to 2 days, but serious reactions are possible.
Following a MenB shot, more than half of people who get the vaccine will have mild problems:
- Soreness, redness, or swelling where you got the shot
What Is Meningococcal Disease
Meningococcal disease can refer to any illness caused by a type of bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis, also known as meningococcus . Meningococcal disease is not very common in the United States, but teens and young adults are at increased risk.
The two most common types of infections are
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How Much Does A Meningococcal Vaccine Cost
The cash price for meningococcal vaccines differs slightly between each one. But, many people dont pay the cash price for these vaccines. Thats because theyre usually covered by insurance. Below are average retail and GoodRx prices for each vaccine .
The CDC lists meningococcal vaccines as one of the vaccines usually covered by private insurance. Insurance companies are required to cover vaccines based on recommendations from the CDC.
So, if your healthcare provider determines that a meningococcal vaccine is recommended in your situation, your insurance will likely cover it. But its always best to check with your insurance company if youre unsure.
The Vaccines for Children program also offers vaccines at no cost for children who are eligible .
What Happens After The Immunization
Your child might have a fever, soreness, and some swelling and redness at the injection area. Check with your doctor to see if you can give either acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain or fever and to find out the right dose.
A warm, damp cloth or a heating pad on the injection site may help reduce soreness, as can moving or using the arm.
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What Are The Side Effects Of A Meningitis Vaccine
Certain meningitis vaccines can cause mild side effects, including soreness at the site of the shot, tiredness, headaches, muscle pain, fever, nausea or diarrhea.
Any vaccine carries a very small risk of severe allergic reaction. Go to the ER if you experience difficulty breathing, dizziness, or swelling in the face.
If you or your child needs a meningitis vaccine or would like more information, contact a CareNow® urgent care clinic. You can minimize your wait time with our Web Check-In®.
Our CareNow® urgent care clinics are open seven days a week and welcome walk-in patients. Or, try our Web Check-In® feature to avoid wait times from the comfort of your home.
How Does Meningococcal Disease Occur
Approximately 10% of the general population carry meningococcal bacteria in the nose and throat in a harmless state. This carrier state may last for days or months before spontaneously disappearing, and it seems to give people who harbor the bacteria in their upper respiratory tracts some protection from developing meningococcal disease.
During meningococcal disease outbreaks, close to 95% of people may carry the bacteria, yet less than 1% of people develop meningococcal disease. This low occurrence of disease following exposure suggests that a person’s own immune system, in addition to bacterial factors, plays a key role in allowing the disease to develop.
Meningococcal bacteria cannot usually live for more than a few minutes outside the body. As a result, they are not easily transmitted in water supplies, swimming pools, or by routine contact with an infected person in a classroom, dining room, bar, rest room, etc.
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Bacterial Meningitis Vaccination Requirement
Texas Law requires all students entering an institution of higher education to either receive a vaccination against bacterial meningitis or meet certain criteria for declining such a vaccination before the first day of the semester.
Students are strongly encouraged to obtain the bacterial meningitis vaccination before entering the United States or moving to the Canyon/Amarillo area.
If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Admissions at 651-2020 or .
Types Of Meningococcal Vaccines
The first category of vaccine is called the meningococcal conjugate vaccines or MenACWY vaccines. This vaccine protects against four strains of bacteria that fall into serogroups A, C, W, and Y.
Serogroups are closely related groups of bacteria that all present the same calling cards to the immune system. The MenACWY vaccine protects against meningitis-causing bacteria that present with the A, C, W, or Y calling cards.
Three types of MenACWY vaccines are currently available:
The second category of meningococcal vaccines protects against bacteria that fall into serogroup B. These are called MenB vaccines and are sold under the brand names Bexsero and Trumenba.
The MenB vaccine is fairly new. The FDA approved Trumenba in 2014. Bexsero was approved in 2015. MenB vaccine is not currently part of the U.S. standard childhood vaccine immunization schedule. But in other countries, like the United Kingdom, Bexsero is routinely given during infancy.
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Where Do I Submit My Meningitis Record
In Person: Stop by the Admissions Office at any Dallas College location to drop off proof of meningitis immunization. The office is open Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-7 p.m., and Fridays 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Online: You can also submit proof of vaccination through the Med+Proctor portal. Its easy!
- Register: Go to medproctor.com and click register to create a new account. Enter your email address and follow the directions to get started.
- Fill out any required personal, medical or insurance information. Download the required forms and follow the directions provided.
- Upload: Log back in to your Med+Proctor account and upload a copy of your forms. Make sure your forms are complete and legible. You will receive an email confirmation once the forms have been reviewed.
Why Are Meningococcal Vaccines Recommended
Meningococcal disease is caused by a type of bacteria. It can lead to an infection of the bloodstream or meningitis, or both, and can be life-threatening if not quickly treated. The MenACWY vaccine is very effective at protecting against four strains of the bacteria, while the MenB vaccine protects against a fifth strain.
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Treatment Of Meningitis In Babies
The treatment for meningitis depends on the cause. Babies with some types of viral meningitis get better without any treatment.
However, always take your baby to the doctor as soon as possible any time you suspect meningitis. You cant be sure whats causing it until your doctor does some tests because the symptoms are similar to other conditions.
When needed, treatment has to start as soon as possible for a good outcome.
Effectiveness Of The Menb Vaccine
Another type of meningococcal vaccine is the MenB vaccine, which protects against a fifth strain of Neisseria meningitidis. In the U.S., parents can opt to give their children a MenB vaccine once theyre in their teens.
The CDC’s analysis of the efficacy of the MenB vaccines in the real world comes from studies done in other countries. In Canada, a study followed a mass vaccination campaign in a region with a meningitis B outbreak and found that a MenB vaccine was 79% effective in the four years after vaccination.
In the UK, MenB vaccines have become part of the childhood immunization schedule. By 2018 as many as 92% of eligible infants in the UK completed a MenB vaccination by their first birthday, according to a 2020 study in The New England Journal of Medicine.
That study estimated that the vaccine was about 53% effective. This policy has also resulted in a large drop in meningitis B cases. The study noted a 75% drop in cases among vaccine-eligible age groups, compared to the expected numbers.
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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
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.
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Do I Have To Get The Meningitis Vaccination
- Entering students 22 years of age or older by the first day of class for the semester are exempt.
- Students taking online classes only should submit an Online Enrollment Only Exemption Request form
- If your physician recommends that for health reasons the student not receive the immunization, the student should submit a Vaccine Requirement Form and submit a note from the physician. The signed note should be on either office letterhead or on prescription paper.
- If for reasons of conscience, including religious belief you are declining the vaccination, students should submit a completed Vaccine Requirement Form and an Affidavit from the Texas Department of State Health Services. Initiate your request to TDSHS well before your intended orientation date. It may take several weeks to receive your form during peak times.
Determine If The Law Applies
1. Does the Bacterial Meningitis law apply to me?
YES, if you are
NO, you are exempt if you are:
2. How to comply with the law
- Submit proof of having received the bacterial meningitis vaccination within the last 5 years. OR
- Opt out of the vaccine by submitting an exemption form based on medical reasons, conscientious objection or taking only online courses.
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