Meningitis is an inflammation (swelling) of the protective membranes, called meninges that cover the brain and spinal cord. An infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord, caused by viruses, bacteria or fungi, causes the swelling, which typically leads to symptoms such as headache, fever and stiff neck. The severity of meningitis can vary widely, from cases that improve on their own in a matter of weeks to those that are life-threatening and require emergency treatment.
Children, teens and young adults are most often infected, though older adults and those with a weakened immune system are also at risk. If a family member or coworker has meningitis, it’s important to talk to your doctor to determine if you need to take medications to prevent getting the infection. Both viral and bacterial meningitis spread from person to person via coughing, sneezing and sharing of saliva (as with kissing or sharing eating utensils), with one bacterial type of meningitis spread by contaminated food. A person can be a “carrier,” meaning they carry the bacteria that cause meningitis in or on their bodies but never become sick. However, carriers can spread the bacteria to other people.
A simple vaccination can prevent this deadly disease.
Meningitis can spread quickly through college campuses, where people are living, working and studying in highly concentrated areas.
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College Bound Students: Protect yourself from preventable diseases You can protect yourself from preventable diseases by making sure you are up-to-date on your immunizations before you leave for college, where serious life-threatening illnesses like Meningitis B can spread quickly. Watch the video below to learn more Idaho Immunization Coalition: Student Video from Karen Sharpnack on […]⇀ READ MORE
Parents: Protect your children from preventable diseases You can protect your children from preventable diseases by making sure they are up-to-date on their immunizations before they leave for college, where serious life-threatening illnesses like Meningitis B can spread quickly. Watch the video below to learn more. Idaho Immunization Coalition: Parent Video from Karen Sharpnack on […]⇀ READ MORE