Bacterial meningitis

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Senate Bil1 31 requires a school district to provide information relating to bacterial

meningitis to its students and parents each school year. The Munday ISD is

providing this information in the form of a mailing to each student in the district. The

information included in this mailing is the information provided by the Texas

Education Agency to the school district. For more information, you should contact

the school nurse, your family doctor, or the staff at the local hospital. You can also

contact the regional health department office for more information. You may also call

your local health department or Regional Texas Department of Health office to ask

about meningococcal vaccine. Additional information may also be found at the web

sites for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: and the Texas

Department of Health:


What is meningitis?

Meningitis is an inflammation of the covering of the brain and spinal cord---also called

the meninges. It can be caused by viruses, parasites, fungi, and bacteria. Viral

(aseptic) meningitis is common; most people recover fully. Medical management of

viral meningitis consists of supportive treatment and there is usually no indication for

the use of antibiotics. Parasitic and fungal meningitis are very rare. Bacterial

meningitis is very serious and may involve complicated medical, surgical,

pharmaceutical, and life support management.

There are two common types of bacteria that cause meningitis:

Strep pneumoniae causes pneumococcal meningitis; there are over 80

subtypes that cause illness

Neisseria meningitidis- meningococcal meningitis; there are 5 subtypes

that cause serious illness -A, B, G, Y, W-135
What are the symptoms?

Someone with meningitis will become very ill. The illness may develop over one or

two days, but it can also rapidly progress in a matter of hours. Not everyone with

meningitis will have the same symptoms.

Children (over 1 year old) and adults with meningitis may have:

Severe headaches

High temperature


Sensitivity to bright lights

Neck stiffness, joint pains I

Drowsiness or confusion

*In both children and adults. There may be a rash of tiny, red-purple sports or bruises caused by

bleeding under the skin These can occur anywhere on the body. They are a sign of blood poisoning

(septicemia), which sometimes happens with meningitis, particularly the meningococcal strain.
How serious is bacterial meningitis?

If it is diagnosed early and treated promptly, the majority of people make a complete

recovery .In some cases, it can be fatal or a person may be left with a permanent

disability, such as deafness, blindness, amputations, or brain damage (resulting in

mental retardation or paralysis) even with prompt treatment.

How is bacterial meningitis spread?

Fortunately, none of the bacteria that cause meningitis are contagious as diseases

like the common cold or flu, and they are not spread by casual contact or by simply

breathing the air where a person with meningitis has been. The germs live naturally

in the back of our noses and throats, but they do not live for long outside the body.

They are spread when people exchange saliva ( such as by kissing; sharing drinking

containers, utensils, or cigarettes ).

The germ does not cause meningitis in most people. Instead, most people become

carriers of the germ for days, weeks, or even months. Being a carrier helps to

stimulate your body's natural defense system. The bacteria rarely overcomes the

body's immune system and causes meningitis or another serious illness.

What is the risk of getting bacterial meningitis?

The risk of getting bacterial meningitis in all age groups is about 2.4 cases per

100,000 population per year. However, the highest risk group for the most serious

form of the disease, meningococcal meningitis, is highest among children 2 to 18

years old.

How is bacterial meningitis diagnosed?

The diagnosis is usually based on a combination of clinical symptoms and laboratory

results from spinal fluid and blood. Spinal fluid is obtained by a lumbar puncture

( spinal tap ).

How can bacterial meningitis be prevented?

Do not share food, drinks, utensils, toothbrushes, or cigarettes. Limit the number of

persons you kiss.

Vaccines against pneumococcal diseases are recommended both for young children

and adults over 64. A vaccine against four meningococcal serogroups (A, G, V, W-

135) is available. These four groups cause the majority of meningococcal cases in

the United States. This vaccine is recommended by some groups for college

students, particularly freshmen living in dorms or residence halls. The vaccine is safe

and effective (85- 90% ). It can cause mild side effects, such as redness and pain at

the injection site lasting up to two days. Immunity develops within 7 to 10 days after

the vaccine is given and last for up to 5 years.

What you should do if you think you or a friend might have bacterial


Seek prompt medical attention.

 Espanol Meningitis Bacteriana

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