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Local School Nurses Unite Community to Combat Low Meningitis Vaccination Rates among Preteens and Teens in Seattle and King County
Date:10/20/2011

ed to Vaccinate Preteens and Teens

Parents should be aware that common behaviors among adolescents – like spending long periods of time with large groups and sharing water bottles or drinking glasses – can put them at risk of contracting meningitis. A new survey commissioned by NASN and Sanofi Pasteur confirms that although preteens and teens are aware that these activities may put them at risk, they continue to engage in them:

  • 80 percent are aware that at least one of the following activities may increase their risk for getting meningitis: kissing on the lips, attending sleep-away camp or boarding school, regularly not getting enough sleep, or sharing water bottles, eating utensils or drinking glasses
  • Yet, nearly 82 percent report having engaged in at least one of these activities

According to Robin Fleming, school nurse, Seattle Public Schools, and NASN director, SNOW, these findings showcase how critical meningococcal vaccination is for teens.  "These results suggest that we can't prevent preteens and teens from engaging in everyday activities that put them at risk for meningitis.  However, parents can help ensure their children are protected by getting them vaccinated against meningitis; the risk is too great to leave to chance."

"I didn't know how devastating this disease can be, until my family experienced it firsthand," said Ron Albrecht, who lost his son Drew to the disease when Drew was 15 years old.  "Other families need to know this disease may be prevented through vaccination.  I do not want another family to experience what we went through."

About Voices of Meningitis

Voices of Meningitis brings together the many "voices" of meningitis – school nurses, parents whose children have been affected by the disease, survivors of meningococcal meningiti
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SOURCE National Association of School Nurses
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