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National Survey Shows: Vast Majority of Preteens and Teens Engage in Activities That May Put Them at Risk for Contracting Meningitis
Date:8/3/2011

NEW YORK, Aug. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A new national survey shows most preteens and teens engage in day-to-day activities that may put them at risk of contracting meningococcal meningitis, a rare, but serious bacterial infection that can cause meningitis and take the life of an otherwise healthy child in just a single day. The National Association of School Nurses (NASN), in collaboration with Sanofi Pasteur, conducted the survey as part of its Voices of Meningitis back-to-school vaccination awareness initiative.

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The majority of mothers surveyed believe their preteen and teenage children are at little or no risk of getting meningococcal disease. Yet, nearly 82 percent of preteens and teens 11-17 years of age reported engaging in at least one common everyday activity that can spread the bacteria – such as sharing drinking glasses and water bottles, not getting enough sleep, living in close quarters like dormitories, and kissing – and put them at risk for contracting meningitis.

Given that it can be difficult to convince preteens and teens to avoid common everyday activities that put them at risk, the NASN and school nurses nationwide are advising parents that vaccination is the best way to help protect young people from meningitis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends meningococcal vaccination for preteens and teens beginning at age 11, with a booster dose by 18 years of age.  However, nearly half of teens in the U.S. have not been immunized, leaving many unprotected against the disease.

"Most of our preteens and teens are unprotected a
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SOURCE National Association of School Nurses
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