Meningitis is an infection of the brain and spinal cord coverings that is caused by bacteria known as Neisseria meningitides. Symptoms include fever, sore throat, neck stiffness, headache, and muscle and joint pain.
The symptoms can rapidly progress to include seizures, circulation troubles, and neurological troubles.
If circulation decreases enough, gangrene can set in and amputation can become necessary.
Currently, there are 2,600 cases of meningitis every year and most of those cases are in children under the age of five. Typically, college settings and poor areas (third world countries) pose the most danger as the disease spreads rapidly among unvaccinated children, teens, and young adults.
While doctors do not recommend every one receive a vaccination, they do urge the vaccine for all military recruits, college students, and people traveling to Africa, laboratory personnel, and those in areas where meningitis is spreading. The vaccine can cause complications in people who are allergic to latex, so talk to your doctor first.
The Meningococcal vaccine is given intramuscularly between the ages of eleven and fifty-five. Physicians advise against giving children younger than eleven the vaccine to prevent resistance to the vaccination in the future. If it is necessary to vaccinate a younger child against meningitis, do not go for a yearly booster, instead spread it out three or four years between the vaccinations.
There are a few side effects that can occur. Forty percent of those immunized experience pain and swelling at the injection site. A smaller number experience a low-grade fever. In extremely rare cases (1/10,000) numbness to the extremities occurs.) This is the sign of an allergic response, and you should seek immediate care.
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