Dr. Campbell: Vaccinating NC's students against meningitis - WNCN: News, Weather

WNCN News

Dr. Campbell: Vaccinating NC's students against meningitis

Posted: Updated:
© Meningitis under the microscope © Meningitis under the microscope
RALEIGH, N.C. - North Carolina may now require meningitis vaccines for all incoming seventh graders and another booster shot for ninth graders. Under a new rule proposed by the N.C. public health service, all students in the state would have to be vaccinated in order to attend class.

There have been nearly 1,200 cases nationally each year. This year in North Carolina, a student at East Chapel Hill High School died from what was thought to be meningitis.

Meningitis is an illness caused by either a virus or bacteria. Viral meningitis is rarely fatal and is usually treated symptomatically with supportive care. However, bacterial meningitis can be rapidly fatal. It is caused by a bacteria known as meningocccus, or Neisseria meningitidis.

This bacteria can cause inflammation of the lining around the brain (meningitis) and can also causes sepsis (an infection in the bloodstream). It is highly fatal if untreated and can rapidly progress once the infection begins. It is one of the leading causes of death in both developed and under-developed countries. Even with treatment with antibiotics, one in 10 people who are diagnosed with meningitis will die. Survivors can lose limbs, lose hearing, or have permanent brain damage.

The vaccine for meningitis is incredibly effective. After the shot, nearly 90 percent of patients are immune for several years – after about three to four years another booster shot is required.

Meningitis is very contagious. It is spread by casual contact and saliva. Drinking from the same glass, sneezing, kissing, cough, and prolonged general contact with an infected person is another way to catch meningitis.

Symptoms of meningitis can include a stiff, sore neck with high fever. Other symptoms include headache, nausea, vomiting, and if bacteria is in the bloodstream, a classic rash. When a healthcare provider suspects meningitis, they should initiate antibiotics immediately—even before diagnostic studies have returned. We diagnose meningitis definitively with a lumbar puncture or spinal tap.

It is important to remember that once exposed to meningitis, the incubation period can be anywhere from two to 10 days before symptoms begin. If your child is exposed to a known case, you need to seek medical attention immediately. Most doctors place exposed patients on antibiotics as a precaution.

For more information, here is a link to the CDC.

To get in touch with Dr. Campbell, you can head to his website, Facebook page or message him on Twitter.

Copyright 2014 WNCN. All rights reserved.

  • Health with Dr. CampbellMore>>

  • Dr. Campbell - New study suggests that we can delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease

    Dr. Campbell - New study suggests that we can delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 5:00 AM EDT2014-07-23 09:00:23 GMT
    Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that can be quite devastating to both patient and families. Today in the U.S., more than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease and it is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S.
    Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that can be quite devastating to both patient and families. Today in the U.S., more than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease and it is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S.
  • Dr. Campbell: Can sitting at your desk cancel out the benefits of exercise?

    Dr. Campbell: Can sitting at your desk cancel out the benefits of exercise?

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 10:08 AM EDT2014-07-22 14:08:09 GMT
    There is now evidence that time spent at your desk may actually reverse the benefits that you have obtained from that quick pre-work trip to the gym or a run or walk during your lunch break.
    There is now evidence that time spent at your desk may actually reverse the benefits that you have obtained from that quick pre-work trip to the gym or a run or walk during your lunch break.
  • Dr. Campbell: EKG screening of high school athletes

    Dr. Campbell: EKG screening of high school athletes

    Friday, July 11 2014 5:00 AM EDT2014-07-11 09:00:23 GMT
    When a seemingly healthy young athlete suddenly drops dead while playing sports, it's tragic and hard to accept. Some estimate that nearly 100 young athletes die every year in the U.S. from a preventable sudden cardiac arrest—if their underlying disorder had been previously identified.
    When a seemingly healthy young athlete suddenly drops dead while playing sports, it's tragic and hard to accept. Some estimate that nearly 100 young athletes die every year in the U.S. from a preventable sudden cardiac arrest—if their underlying disorder had been previously identified.
Powered by WorldNow

1205 Front St., Raleigh
N.C., 27609

Telephone: 919.836.1717
Fax: 919.836.1687
Email: newstips@wncn.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.