Unfortunately Fort Collins experienced an outbreak of bacterial meningitis( infection in the fluid and tissue around the brain) this summer. This outbreak emphasizes the critical importance of vaccination. The physicians at Associates in Family Medicine strongly encourage vaccination against this rare but potentially deadly illness for appropriate risk groups. This vaccine is available in all AFM offices.
The type of meningitis is caused by a bacterium called Neisseria meningitidis. When Neisseria meningitidis bacteria enter the bloodstream and multiply, they damage the walls of the blood vessels and cause bleeding into the skin and organs.
Symptoms may include fever, fatigue, vomiting, cold hands and feet, cold chills, severe aches or pain in the muscles, joints, chest or abdomen, rapid breathing, diarrhea — and, in the later stages, a puerperal rash or a petechial rash.
The CDC posts this information regarding the appropriate use of this vaccine.
Who does CDC recommend get the vaccine?
- Children: Meningococcal conjugate vaccine is recommended for certain high-risk children from ages 2 through 10.
- Pre-teens/Adolescents: Meningococcal conjugate vaccine is routinely recommended for all 11 through 18 year olds. If your child did not get this vaccine at the 11- or 12-year-old check-up, make an appointment for him or her to get it now.
- Adults: Either meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine or meningococcal conjugate vaccine is recommended for adults if you
- Are a college freshman living in a dormitory
- Are a military recruit
- Have a damaged spleen or your spleen has been removed
- Have terminal complement deficiency
- Are a microbiologist who is routinely exposed to Neisseria meningitidis (the causal pathogen)
- Are traveling to or residing in countries in which the disease is common
Who does CDC recommend get a booster dose of the vaccine?
- Children previously vaccinated with meningococcal conjugate vaccine or meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine at 2 through 6 years of age who remain at an increased risk for meningococcal disease should receive an additional dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine three years after their previous meningococcal vaccine and every five years thereafter, if at continued risk.
- Persons who were previously vaccinated with meningococcal conjugate vaccine or meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine at 7 through 55 years of age and who are at increased risk for meningococcal disease should receive an additional dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine five years after their previous dose and every five years thereafter, if at continued risk.
Please contact any of our offices if you have questions regarding bacterial meningitis and/or questions related to vaccination.
Link to CDC meningitis site:http://www.cdc.gov/meningitis/vaccine-info.html