Navigation Links
Meningitis Shot Available, Effective Year-Round

If your kids missed back-to-school crush, they can still get the lifesaving vaccine, experts say

THURSDAY, Oct. 25 (HealthDay News) -- At the beginning of every school year, concerned parents rush to get their kids the meningitis vaccine, with demand sometimes outpacing supply.

It doesn't have to be that way, experts say, since this potentially lifesaving shot is available year-round.

While August and September are fine times to vaccinate, the vaccine can also be gotten earlier or later, the experts note. That's important, they add, since meningitis can strike anytime.

"It's a year-round disease," said Lynn Bozof, executive director of the National Meningitis Association. "It can strike anyone at anytime."

Bozof should know: She lost her son Evan, then 20, to the disease in 1998.

"It actually peaks in the wintertime," added Donna Cary, a spokeswoman for Sanofi Pasteur Inc., of Swiftwater, Penn., the drug company that makes both of the meningitis vaccines currently available in the United States.

Meningococcal disease is a viral or bacterial infection, with the bacterial form being rarer but much more deadly. The disease is spread through air droplets and via direct contact with persons who are infected such as by kissing, sharing drinking glasses or coughing, according to the National Meningitis Association.

Every year in the United States, nearly 3,000 people come down with bacterial meningitis, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and about 10 percent to 12 percent -- or about 300 to 360 cases -- are fatal. Those who survive may have complications such as brain damage or limb amputation.

Bacteria can attach to the nasal mucosal lining and mucosal lining in the throat and multiply there. They can then enter the bloodstream, traveling rapidly and causing organ damage.

Meningococcal meningitis is the term given to an inflammation of the membranes around the brain and spinal cord. The presence of bacteria in the blood is called meningococcemia. Pneumococcal meningitis mainly attacks younger children but can affect older children, too.

Another type of bacterial meningitis, Haemophilis influenzae type b disease, has been nearly wiped out since infant vaccine programs against HIb began in the mid-1980s.

Viral meningitis, another form, is not typically as deadly or debilitating as bacterial meningitis, and those stricken usually recover on their own.

Teens and young adults make up nearly 30 percent of all U.S. cases of bacterial meningitis, the CDC estimates.

The good news: Up to 83 percent of these cases among teens are thought to be preventable by vaccination, according to estimates from the National Meningitis Association.

Two vaccines are currently available in the United States. "Menomune was on the market first," explained Cary of Sanofi Pasteur. Next came Menactra, available since 2005.

Menactra is the vaccine typically given for routine vaccinations, Cary said, while Menomune would be given if an outbreak of meningitis occurred.

The vaccines cost about $90 to $120 and are typically paid for by insurance plans or covered by childhood vaccine programs, Bozof said.

Menactra protects against four of the most common strains of meningococcal disease, Cary said, including strains A, C, Y and W135. It doesn't protect against strain B, but "no vaccine is available that does [that]," she said.

Preventing the disease is much preferred to treating it, the experts say, but they warn that even those who are vaccinated can still get the disease, as no vaccine is perfect. Teens and young adults in particular should know the symptoms, which are flu-like in the beginning and include nausea, vomiting, headache and fever, along with a stiff neck.

Immediate medical care is crucial. Antibiotics are given, and early treatment is important. Still, it does not guarantee a full recovery.

More information

To learn more about meningitis, visit the National Meningitis Association.

SOURCES: Donna Cary, spokeswoman, Sanofi Pasteur Inc., Swiftwater, Penn.; Lynn Bozof, executive director, National Meningitis Association, Marietta, Ga.

Copyright©2007 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Meningitis C vaccine a cost-effective success
2. Cure for Bacterial Meningitis
3. Efficacy Of Meningitis C Vaccine
4. Meningitis is rocking the capital again
5. New warning signs for child meningitis
6. Uganda Tackles The Meningitis Outbreak
7. Fatal Case of Meningitis Detected In Massachusetts
8. Meningitis Back in Delhi and 21 Dead
9. New Delhi Hit By Meningitis Deaths
10. Cost-effective Meningitis Vaccine To Be Launched In Africa
11. Delhi Witnessed 34 Meningitis Deaths In Three Months
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... , ... According to an article published November 13th on, ... D.C. revolved around the fact that proper dental care, both at-home and in the ... between periodontal disease (more commonly referred to as gum disease) and diabetes. According to ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... A team of Swiss doctors has ... it. Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted the findings on the website. Click here ... the cases of 136 mesothelioma patients who were treated with chemotherapy followed by EPP ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... edition of USA Today in Atlanta, Dallas, New York, Minneapolis, South Florida, with ... digital component is distributed nationally, through a vast social media strategy and across ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... well-respected Microsoft Dynamics SL User Group (MSDSLUG). Recognized as Microsoft’s official group for ... of Microsoft Dynamics SL software users, partners, industry experts and representatives. Intellitec Solutions’ ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 2015 , ... CBD College is proud to announce that on ... accreditation to its Diagnostic Medical Sonography program. CBD College is honored to join this ... colleges and universities in the state of California make the cut. CBD College is ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... , Nov. 27, 2015 Research and ... the "Global Intrauterine Devices Market 2015-2019" report ... --> In this report, the author the ... devices market for 2015-2019. To calculate the market size, ... following type of products: Hormonal IUDs and copper IUDs. ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 27, 2015 ... --> --> ... emergency response system (PERS) market ... for 5 years with APAC ... expected to see a high ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , 26 november 2015 ... kondigt de geplande investering aan van ten ... de laboratoria en het mondiale hoofdkantoor in ... uitbreiding zal resulteren in extra kantoorruimte en ... aan de groeiende behoeften van de farmaceutische ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: