From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.
When meningitis develops, it can be bad stuff. The infection of the protective fluid and lining around the brain and spinal cord can be caused by a virus or bacteria, and the danger varies with the kind of infection. People generally get over the viral version in a few days. But the bacteria can cause brain damage, partial paralysis, or death.
Teens and young adults are particularly at risk, especially if they are living close together where the infection can spread, such as a college dorm.
That’s why it’s important for college students to be vaccinated before they start their freshman year.
Tom Clark of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
``The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends one dose of meningococcal vaccine for all adolescents aged 11 to 18 years, at the earliest opportunity.’’ (9 seconds)
Learn more at hhs.gov.
HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.
Last revised: May 7, 2011