There's been about a 50 percent increase (in cases of college meningitis) since the early 1990s. We're not exactly sure why it's increasing - James Turner
The 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak in the United States exemplifies how frightening and deadly meningitis can be.
"While the more common bacterial and viral forms of meningitis tend to strike quickly with obvious symptoms, fungal meningitis grows slowly and is hard to diagnose. The black mold creeping into the spines of hundreds of people who got tainted shots for back pain marks uncharted medical territory. Never before has this particular fungus been found to cause meningitis.
It’s incredibly hard to diagnose, and to kill — requiring at least three months of a treatment that can cause hallucinations. There’s no good way to predict survival, or when it’s safe to stop treating, or exactly how to monitor those who fear the fungus may be festering silently in their bodies." Source: Unprecedented ‘black mold’ meningitis challenges doctors, Healthy Living, November 1, 2012.
But at the same time nothing is more frightening than meningococcal meningitis. Unlike viral meningitis, an otherwise healthy young person can be dead within a day after the initial symptoms appear.
"For a small but growing number of college students, the undergraduate experience now may include a close brush with one of the most frightening infections on the planet: meningococcal disease. Long known as an illness of early childhood, meningococcal disease has doubled among teenagers and young adults in the United States during the last decade, striking college freshmen in particular. The increase has been even more alarming in other countries...
Despite all the progress in intensive care and the introduction of new vaccines for all but one type of meningococcal disease, the scourge still strikes fear into whole communities. It's a killer that doesn't discriminate, and across the world, hundreds of thousands die from it each year, most of them in sub-Saharan Africa." Source: Killer Disease on Campus, NOVA
There are already vaccines for several serogroups of meningococcal disease, but there is still no vaccine that provides broad protection against MenB which unfortunately represents about 50% of all meningococcal infections. However, the good news is that there is a MenB vaccine undergoing clinical trials.
In the meantime listen to what the school nurses have to say, get immunized for the other serogroups. It may save your life!
Killer Disease on Campus
Despite all the progress in intensive care and the introduction of new vaccines for all but one type of meningococcal disease, the scourge still strikes fear into whole communities. It's a killer that doesn't discriminate, and across the world, hundreds of thousands die from it each year, most of them in sub-Saharan Africa.
I only hope that in my lifetime, the investment in vaccine research pays off and that eventually no more children and parents will have to suffer the pain and anguish that I have witnessed so many times.
Meningitis UK has a single focus - to find a vaccine to protect against all forms of meningitis and associated diseases.
Opinion: Eliminating Meningitis
Many vaccines are on the market for various serogroups of meningococcal disease, but a solution to provide broad protection against MenB remains elusive.
Voices of Meningitis
The goal of “Boost Our Rates!” is to further educate communities about the importance of meningococcal vaccination and ensure parents are aware that teens who have already been vaccinated may need a second dose to help keep them protected during the years when they are at greatest risk of infection. Public health officials now recommend a booster dose of meningococcal vaccination for adolescents by 18 years of age, following the initial dose at age 11 or 12 years.
Meningococcal disease occurs throughout the year. However, the incidence is highest in the late winter and early spring.2 The most recent spikes in incidence were in the mid 1990s and the early and late 1980s.
Children younger than age 2 have the highest incidence of meningococcal disease. Increased incidence is also seen in adolescents and young adults.
Not just college freshmen living in dorms get meningitis. Please educate yourself, speak to your health care provider, follow ACIP recommendations for adolescents and get immunized.
Meningitis Foundation of America
Founded in 1997, the Meningitis Foundation of America is the first national non-profit in the United States of America dedicated to the education, vaccination and eradication of meningitis. Our mission is to support sufferers of meningitis and their families through support groups, advocate for advanced research for the prevention and the long term effects of various meningitis strains as well as facilitating programs to educate the public about the causes and symptoms of meningitis.
Meningitis Research Foundation of Canada
The Meningitis Research Foundation of Canada is dedicated to the prevention of Meningitis, to improving survival rates and outcomes, and to the support of families of those whose lives have been changed by this disease.
Meningitis Vaccine Project
The mission of the MVP is to eliminate meningitis as a public health problem in sub-Saharan Africa through the development, testing, introduction, and widespread use of conjugate meningococcal vaccines.
National Meningitis Association
NMA�s mission is to educate families, medical professionals and others about bacterial meningitis and prevention approaches to the disease.
Progress and challenges in bacterial meningitis
Bacterial meningitis is a devastating disease that is associated with substantial mortality and morbidity. The major causative bacteria are Streptococcus pneumoniae and Neisseria meningitis , with case-fatality rates of 30% and 7%, respectively, in high-income countries. 1 In resource-poor countries, fatality rates can be as high as 50%.
The Amanda Young Foundation
The Amanda Young Foundation is a non-profit community organisation dedicated to reducing deaths in WA from meningococcal disease, and supportingsurvivors of the disease.
The Meningitis Centre
The Meningitis Centre is striving to eliminate Meningitis in Australia by lobbying for vaccines and educating the community to be aware of the signs and symptoms. The Centre also provides support for families affected by the disease.
The Meningitis Trust
Meningitis is still with us. It can strike in an instant, but the impact can last a lifetime. The Meningitis Trust is here to give emotional and practical life-long support to people affected by meningitis.
Meningococcus bacteria are spread through the exchange of respiratory and throat secretions like spit (e.g., living in close quarters, kissing). Although it can be very serious, meningococcal disease can be treated with antibiotics that prevent severe illness and reduce the spread of infection from person to person.
Meningitis can be caused by a variety of things, including bacteria (the most serious cases), viruses, fungi, reactions to medications, and environmental toxins such as heavy metals. Although bacterial and fungal meningitis require extended hospitalization, meningitis caused by viruses can often be treated at home and has a much better outcome.
Kids of any age can get meningitis, but because it can be easily spread among people living in close quarters, teens, college students, and boarding-school students are at higher risk for infection.
Most cases of meningitis in the U.S. are caused by a viral infection, but bacterial and fungal infections also can lead to meningitis. Depending on the cause of the infection, meningitis can get better on its own in a couple of weeks — or it can be a life-threatening emergency requiring urgent antibiotic treatment.
Medindia provides you with the latest news and research breakthroughs on Meningitis
In Britain, the introduction of a Hib vaccination has led to a virtual eradication of Hib meningitis. If there is a rash it is worth trying the "glass test" as you may have seen on the television. This involves pressing a glass tumbler against the rash to see if the red spots disappear under pressure. The rash of meningococcal meningitis does not disappear on application of pressure.
Early treatment can help prevent serious problems, including death. Vaccines can prevent some of the bacterial infections that cause meningitis. Parents of adolescents and students living in college dorms should talk to a doctor about the vaccination.
Meningitis Outbreak Still a Challenge
The outbreak, which has been linked to an injectable drug widely used to control chronic pain, has also seen the FDA under attack for not doing more to monitor so-called "compounding pharmacies."
And the FDA has responded by saying it did not have clear authority to intervene, even though worries about the pharmacy in question, the New England Compounding Center (NECC) of Framingham, Mass., date back to at least 2002.
The agency is now asking for its authority to be clarified, although an organization representing compounding pharmacies has told lawmakers the FDA had all the power it needed, but just dropped the ball.
The bottom line from a public health standpoint is that as of Dec. 17, the CDC had recorded 620 cases of disease and 39 deaths. And more are likely, according to Chiller: "We're still in the middle of this thing."
The very mention of meningitis strikes fear into the heart of most parents in the UK.
Such fears are understandable because meningitis is an inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord and can be a very serious illness. Meninigitis is often associated with septicaemia, otherwise known as blood poisoning, which can also be extremely serious.
Although most people recover from the disease, some are left deaf or blind, and in others it may prove fatal.
The Meningitis Files
Meningitis is one of the most terrifying diseases. It can be fatal in hours yet its early symptoms resemble self-limiting conditions like flu and colds. BBC News Online's health team offers a guide to the disease, the issues it raises for the health service and the science employed to defeat it.
News on Meningitis continually updated from thousands of sources around the net
Meningitis is inflammation of the meninges, the covering of the brain and spinal cord. It is most often caused by infection (bacterial, viral, or fungal), but can also be produced by chemical irritation, subarachnoid haemorrhage, cancer and other conditions.
Meningococcal disease describes infections caused by the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis (also termed meningococcus). It carries a high mortality rate if untreated. While best known as a cause of meningitis, widespread blood infection (sepsis) is more damaging and dangerous. Meningitis and Meningococcemia are major causes of illness, death, and disability in both developed and under developed countries worldwide.