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|by Rhea Resham Singh|
I got the following answers for some questions:
1. What is Meningococcal Meningitis?
5. Why is it so dangerous?
Certain college students have been found to be at increased risk for Meningococcal Meningitis. In fact, freshmen living in dormitories are found to have a six-fold increased risk for the disease compared to all undergraduates. AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) now recommend college students, particularly freshman living in dormitories, learn more about Meningococcal Meningitis and consider vaccination. They also recommend that other college students who wish to reduce their risk for the disease should also be vaccinated.
Studies show 15 to 24 years olds are at greater risk of getting Meningococcal Meningitis, and in recent years there has been an increase in the number of college outbreaks. CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) recommend college students, particularly freshman living in dormitories, be educated about Meningococcal Meningitis and the potential benefits of vaccination. These groups further advise that immunization should be provided or made easily available to those who wish to reduce their risk for the disease. The Meningococcal vaccine is available against four types of the bacterium Neisseria Meningitides that causes Meningococcal Meningitis in the United States- serogroups A, C, Y, and W-135. These four serogroups account for nearly two- thirds of the cases of Meningococcal Meningitis in the college-age population. The vaccine can be used in adults and children 2 years old and above. The vaccine is 85 to 100 percent effective in preventing Meningococcal Meningitis in serogroups A, C, Y and W-135 in older children and adults. Protection lasts approximately three to five years- the length of time most students are away at college.
People suspecting that they may have been exposed to Meningitis, displaying the signs or Symptoms described above or people who have had close bodily contact with anyone diagnosed with the disease should consult a physician at the earliest opportunity.
Meningitis can be a life-threatening illness that may progress rapidly. Caution is urged and appropriate assessment and treatment recommended. Do not wait. Seek immediate medical attention for the sick person. Remember to ask the doctor about care of household members. Also MFA (Meningitis Foundation of America) provides education to the public and medical professionals about meningitis so that its early diagnosis and treatment will save lives.
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