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Protect Yourself from Meningococcal Disease

Tina Ho

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Aug 9th, 2017

Young people speaking to each other- Protect Yourself from Meningococcal Disease

Did you know that about 2,600 unvaccinated preteens and teens get meningococcal disease each year[i]?  According to the CDC, even with treatment, as many as one out of seven people who contract this disease will die from it and of those who survive, as many as one out of five will have permanent disabilities, such as deafness, mental retardation, loss of limbs, or seizures[ii]

These numbers are alarming and a parent or concerned family member’s primary concern is likely how to protect your loved one from this potentially fatal disease.  The simple answer is through vaccination, as it is one of the most effective ways to prevent most meningococcal disease.   

Meningococcal disease is a serious illness caused by bacteria that can spread from person to person through close or lengthy contact with someone’s saliva, possibly by kissing or coughing.[iii]  It can cause meningitis, which is an infection of the brain and spinal cord, and can also cause blood infections.   Symptoms can include high fever, headache, a very stiff neck, confusion, and sensitivity to light. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that all children ages 11 through 12 years receive a single dose of the vaccine, followed by a booster dose at 16 years[iv].  Help minimize the risk for your loved ones: get them vaccinated early!

Talk to your local friendly Albertsons pharmacist to learn more about meningococcal and other vaccinations that your loved ones may need. 

[i] CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases

[ii] CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases

[iii] Immunization Action Coalition

[iv] www.immunize.org/vis/vis_menin.asp

 

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