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Bacterial Meningitis What you need to know to protect yourself.

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1 Bacterial Meningitis What you need to know to protect yourself

2 What is bacterial meningitis? Infection of a person's spinal cord fluid and the fluid that surrounds the brain Two common types: 1. Viral - caused by a virus, less severe then bacterial meningitis and resolves without specific treatment 2. Bacterial – caused by a bacteria, quite severe and may result in brain damage, hearing loss, learning disabilities or death

3 Is there a treatment? Antibiotics – main treatment for bacterial meningitis This does not always prevent death

4 How might I get bacterial meningitis? After intimate contact with an infected person It is transmitted through droplets of respiratory and throat secretions - kissing, sharing toothbrushes or eating utensils, coughing, frequently eating or sleeping in the same dwelling as an infected individual

5 How do I know if I have it? The infected person may have any of the following: Stiff neck Headache Fever Nausea/vomiting Confusion Drowsiness Discomfort looking into bright lights Seizures (in later stage)

6 Who is at risk? Anyone living in communal living conditions, such as in dormitories and military barracks Persons with immune deficiencies, chronic illnesses and upper respiratory infections Anyone exposed to cigarette smoke Persons taking in high alcohol consumption Low socioeconomic status individuals Babies, during the first year of life Persons between the ages of years old

7 Why am I at risk? Living in dormitories May develop an upper respiratory infection Age group: 17 – 24 years old Exposed to persons at risk during mission trips, evangelizing, and day to day activities

8 How can I prevent getting it? Reduce stress Get 7-9 hours of sleep a night Hand washing Keeping hands away from mouth and face Don’t smoke Don’t share utensils or toiletry equipment Eat balanced meals Avoid high alcohol consumption Get vaccinated (best prevention)

9 What is the Meningococcal vaccine? Two types 1. Menomune (Meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine or MPSV4) 2. Menactra (Meningococcal conjugate vaccine or MCV4) Both give immunity to bacterial meningitis.

10 Menomune First developed (1982) Immunity lasts approximately three to five years Recommended for children 2 to 10 years old and adults over 55, but can also be used if Menactra is not available Cost varies

11 Menactra Newer vaccine Claims to induce a better and longer-lasting immune response than Menomune Preferred vaccine for people 11 to 55 years of age Cost varies

12 How can I get vaccinated? At University Medical Services (subject to availability) – Call to schedule an appointment (7862) May contact family physician to obtain vaccine May obtain vaccine at local health department

13 Additional Resources To find out more about meningitis visit the following websites: ngococcal_g.htm htm To find out more about the meningitis vaccines visit the following website:


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