More Meningococcal Meningitis Cases Reported

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Once again we have the report of students being hospitalized with bacterial meningococcal meningitis. The latest two cases are in University of Pennsylvania students. Other students are being treated as a preventive measure.

Bacterial meningitis is a potentially fatal infection of the fluid of a person's spinal cord and the fluid that surrounds the brain. It is often called spinal meningitis. Even when not fatal, bacterial meningitis may result in brain damage, hearing loss, or permanent learning disability.

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Streptococcus pneumoniae and Neisseria meningitidis are the leading causes of bacterial meningitis currently. Before the 1990s, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) was the leading cause of bacterial meningitis.

Symptoms include fever, severe headache, sensitivity to bright light, stiff neck, lethargy, a rash, and nausea and vomiting. Meningitis is contagious though not as contagious as the common cold or the flu. It is spread through the exchange of respiratory and throat secretions (for example, coughing, kissing, sharing cups)

There are vaccines against the Hib, against some types of N. meningitidis and many types of Streptococcus pneumoniae. The vaccines against Hib are very safe and highly effective. Meningococcal vaccines cannot prevent all types of the disease, but they do protect many people who might become sick if they didn't get the vaccine.

Source
Center for Disease Control and Prevention

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The Meningitis Foundation of America (MFA), a national organization, would like the public and media to know that information is available regarding the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of meningitis. MFA was founded by parents whose children were affected by meningitis. In addition to supporting vaccines and other means of preventing meningitis, the MFA provides information to educate the public and medical professionals so that the early diagnosis, treatment and, most important, prevention of meningitis, will save lives. Meningitis is a dangerous and sometimes fatal inflammation of the brain and/or spinal cord that can leave survivors with serious life-long physical problems such as deafness, brain damage and other disabilities, meningitis can sometimes result in loss of limbs. MFA would like to be considered as a news resource for the disease. For further information, visit the MFA website at www.musa.org. MFA is proud to announce the new C.I.S.S. Container Identification Scratch System When we participate in sporting events or mingle at social gatherings it is possible to lose track of our water bottles and/or beverage cans, especially those served in containers that are very similar or identical to a container from which you are drinking. This carries the risk of transmitting an illness, such as meningitis or the common cold or flu. The Container Identification Scratch System, or C.I.S.S., is a fun way to make sure you always know your drink from others. Use it at sporting events or at family gatherings and reduce the waste from forgotten drinks. Simply scratch your number from the C.I.S.S. label and identify your drink. Thank you, Meningitis Foundation of America P O Box 83602 Phoenix, AZ 85071 480.270.2652 www.musa.org