A Closer Look at Your Health: Protecting young adults against meningitis

preteenvaccineWe’ve seen news reports recently of college campus outbreaks of bacterial meningitis, which is a meningococcal disease that can become life-threatening quickly, and teens are at high risk of getting it. Meningitis is a dangerous inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord, so with your teens home now on winter break, it’s a good time to talk about reducing their risk of contracting meningitis by making sure their vaccinations are up-to-date. Continue reading

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Meningitis outbreak prompts reminder to get college students vaccinated

A bacterial meningitis outbreak at Oregon State University (OSU) has public health officials and medical providers in Idaho on guard as college students head home for the holidays, and encouraging students to get vaccinated against the disease. So far, no cases have been reported in Idaho, but OSU has reported six cases at the University’s Corvallis campus, five known to be caused by serogroup B meningococcal bacteria.

“If you have college students from the Corvallis campus of OSU home for the holiday break, it would be a great idea to check to see if they have been vaccinated against serogroup B meningococcal disease,” said Dr. Christine Hahn, medical director for the Division of Public Health in the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. “If not, they should be vaccinated with the MenB vaccine to protect them from the disease, which is very serious and can spread in college settings. It can cause loss of limbs, hearing loss, or brain damage. Even with treatment, up to 15% of people can die from it.”   Continue reading