Meningitis Information

FAQ

Q.

What is Meningococcal Meningitis?

A.

Meningitis is rare. When it strikes, this potentially fatal bacterial disease can lead to swelling of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal column as well as to severe and permanent disabilities, such as hearing loss, brain damage, or seizures. It an, in some rare cases, be fatal.

Q.

How is it spread?

A.

Meningococcal Meningitis is spread through the air via respiratory secretion and close contact with an infected person. This can include coughing, kissing, or sharing common items such as utensils, cigarettes, drinking glasses and the like.

Q.

What are the symptoms?

A.

Symptoms of Meningococcal meningitis often resemble the flu and can include high fever, severe headache, stiff neck rash, nausea, vomiting, lethargy and confusion.

Q.

Who is at risk?

A.


Person who live in close proximity to one another are most at risk. There have been approximately 100 documented cases of Meningitis on college campuses throughout the United States per year in each of the past several years.



Q.

Can Meningitis be prevented?

A.

Yes. A safe and effective vaccine is available to protect against four of the five most common strains of the disease. The vaccine provides protection for approximately 3-5 years.

Adverse reactions to the Meningitis vaccine are rare and may include soreness at the vaccination site, body aches or slight fever. While no vaccine can provide 100% protection against any disease, this vaccine does provide excellent protection against the forms of the disease for which it is intended.

Many states have passed legislation mandating the Meningitis vaccine for college students living in campus residence halls. Pennsylvania adopted legislation (Senate Bill 955) stating that all students residing in a college-owned residence hall or housing unit must either have the vaccine or sign a declination statement after having received information concerning the benefits of receiving the Meningitis vaccine.