Meningitis Vaccination in Raleigh, NC
Meningitis is an infection - either viral, bacterial or less commonly fungal - that causes inflammation of the lining around the brain and spinal cord. It is essentially the same as septicemia, but septicemia is the blood poisoning form of the disease. Either form of the disease can kill in hours. Bacterial meningitis is fatal more often than viral forms of the disease. It is spread through the transfer of throat and respiratory secretions through close or lengthy contact, especially via exposure to kissing or coughing.
Meningitis can cause the following symptoms:
- Stiff neck
- Confusion and delirium
- Aversion to bright lights
- Sleepiness and difficulty waking
- Severe headache
- Rash (sometimes red or dark purple)
- In babies, irritability, lack of appetite, high pitched cry, bulging soft spot, stiff body with jerky movements, or alternatively, lifeless (fever is often not seen in babies 3 months and younger)
Risk factors include age, certain medical conditions, immunodeficiencies, environmental factors (including exposure to smoke), and geographical location since some countries have higher rates of meningitis.
How is Meningitis Treated?
Early diagnosis and treatment are critical. Samples of blood and cerebrospinal fluid are tested and if the disease is found, antibiotics are administered. Respiratory support, blood pressure medications and wound care may also be necessary.
Antibiotics may prevent death if started early, but even with antibiotic treatment, 10-15 percent of people infected will die, and of those who survive, 10-20 percent will have long-term disability.
Bacterial meningitis can be caused by various strains of bacteria including:
- Meningococcal caused by bacterium Neisseria meningitidis
- Haemophilus infuenzae b (Hib)
- Group B Streptococcal (GBS)
- E. coli
There is no single vaccine that will protect against all forms of bacterial meningitis. In the U.S., the meningococcal strain of meningitis is the most common, and there are now vaccines that protect against the top 3 (out of 5) serogroups of meningococcal disease that occur most in the US (B, C and Y). There are even vaccines that protect against 4 out of 5 serogroups.
The meningitis vaccines are recommended for all teens and preteens. There are also vaccines recommended for babies and children. Consult your pediatrician or primary care physician to determine which vaccines should be administered at which particular ages. The CDC recommends the following:
- All 11 to 12 years receive a single dose of vaccination of a quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine
- A booster dose administered at the age of 16 to help during the years of highest infection development risk
- Preteens, teens and young adults (those aged 16-23) should be vaccinated with serogroup B vaccine if identified as being an increased risk of meningococcal disease
Certain meningitis vaccines are also recommended for adults if they meet the following criteria:
- Have a damaged spleen or have had spleen removed
- Are a military recruit
- Are a first-year college student living in a residence hall
- Are part of a group identified to be at increased risk due to serogroup ACW or Y meningococcal disease outbreak
- Are traveling or residing in countries with high incidence of disease
- Are a microbiologist routinely exposed to the bacteria that causes meningococcal disease
- Have complement component deficiency or are taking Soliris
Request more information about meningitis vaccination today. Call (919) 301-0841 or contact Bhavna Vaidya-Tank online.
Family Wellness Clinic & Regenesis MD
Address8020 Creedmoor Rd
Raleigh, NC 27613