We have some important information about Meningococcal Disease and Meningococcal Vaccines from the OKSDH (Oklahoma State Depart. Of Health) and the OKSDE (Oklahoma State Depart. Of Education) that we would like to share with you.
Meningitis is an infection/swelling of the tissue lining and fluid that surround the spinal cord and the brain. Meningitis is usually caused by a virus or a bacterium. VIRAL Meningitis is usually less severe and goes away without any special treatment. BACTERIAL Meningitis can be severe and may cause: Brain damage, hearing loss, amputation of arms and legs, learning disabilities or death.
VIRAL Meningitis is spread from person to person through direct or indirect contact with feces, usually on unclean hands or surfaces. VIRAL Meningitis can be spread to others from about 3 days after someone is infected until about 10 days after they become sick.
BACTERIAL Meningitis is spread by direct contact with fluids from the nose and throat of the infected person. Symptoms of Meningitis can include: Fever, Rash, Headache, Stiff Neck,Nausea, Vomiting and Fatigue (tiredness). Please seek medical attention if your child has these symptoms.
Hand Hygiene is the most important way to protect yourself and others. Wash your hands often, using soap and water. Always wash your hands after using the toilet, after changing diapers, preparing or eating food, after caring for a sick person and after touching any animals.
The Meningitis Vaccine is not required for the elementary school age children but it is recommended for all adolescents 11 yrs and older. If your child has health insurance you can obtain the vaccine at your healthcare providers office. All County Health Departments have the vaccine available at no charge for children 11 yrs- 18 yrs who have no health insurance, are Medicaid eligible, are Native American or have health insurance that does not cover the cost of the vaccine and for children 2 yrs-18 yrs of age that are at high risk for Meningococcal Disease.
If you have any concerns or questions please do not hesitate to call the school or visit National Meningitis Awareness at www.NMAUS.org or the Oklahoma State Department of Health at www.ok.gov.