IMPORTANT INFORMATION YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT BACTERIAL MENINGITIS

This information is being provided to all new college students in the state of Texas. Bacterial Meningitis is a serious, potentially deadly disease that can progress extremely fast-so take caution. It is an inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. The bacteria that causes meningitis can also infect the blood. This disease strikes about 3,000 American each year, including 100-125 on college campuses, leading to 5-15 deaths among college students every year. There is a treatment, but those who survive may develop severe health problems or disabilities.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

High fever - Severe headache - Rash or purple patches on skin - Vomiting - Light sensitivity - Stiff neck - Confusion and sleepiness - Nausea - Lethargy - Seizures.
THE MORE SYMPTOMS, THE HIGHER THE RISK, SO IF THESE SYMPTOMS APPEAR SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION.

HOW IS BACTERIAL MENINGITIS DIAGNOSED?


Diagnosis is made by a medical provider and is usually based on a combination of clinical symptoms and laboratory results from spinal fluid and blood tests.
Early diagnosis and treatment can greatly improve the likelihood of recovery.

HOW IS THE DISEASE TRANSMITTED?

The disease is transmitted when people exchange saliva (such as by kissing, or by sharing drinking containers, utensils, cigarettes, toothbrushes), or come in contact with respiratory or throat secretions.

HOW DO YOU INCREASE YOUR RISK OF GETTING BACTERIAL MENINGITIS?

Exposure to saliva by sharing cigarettes, water bottles, eating utensils, food, kissing, and living in close quarters (such as sharing a room/suite in a dorm or group home).

WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE DISEASE?

Death (in 8 to 24 hours from perfectly well to dead). Permanent brain damage - Kidney failure - Learning disability - Hearing loss - Blindness - Limb damage (fingers, toes arms, legs) that require amputation - Gangrene - Coma - Convulsions

CAN THE DISEASE BE TREATED?

Antibiotic treatment, if received early, can save lives and chances of re convey are increased. However, permanent disability or death can still occur.
Vaccinations are available and should be considered for:
1. Those living in close quarters.
2. College students 21 years old or younger


Bacterial Meningitis Vaccinations are effective against 4 or the 5 most common bacterial types that cause 70% of the disease in the U.S. (but does not protect against all types of meningitis.)
The vaccination takes 7-10 days to become effective, with protection lasting 3-5 years.
The cost of vaccine varies, so check with your health care provider.
The vaccination is very safe - most common side effects are redness and minor pain at injection site for up to two days.
The vaccination is available at most physican's offices, pharmacies, and at the Dallas County Health Department Phone number is 214-819-2000.

HOW CAN I FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION?

Contact your own health care provider.
Contact your Student Health Center. at 972-860-7190
Contact your local or regional Texas Department of Health office at 817-264-4551.
Contact web sites: www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/disease info
www.acha.org

THIS INFORMATION IS REQUIRED BY SECTION 51.9191 OF THE TEXAS EDUCATION CODE.

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