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: Managing Peanut Allergies in School

    Dr. Campbell: Managing Peanut Allergies in School

    Monday, September 1 2014 5:00 AM EDT2014-09-01 09:00:16 GMT
    Food allergies are a growing food safety and public health concern that affect an estimated four to six percent of children in the United States.
    Food allergies are a growing food safety and public health concern that affect an estimated four to six percent of children in the United States.
  • Dr. Campbell: Backpack safety

    Dr. Campbell: Backpack safety

    Monday, August 25 2014 5:00 AM EDT2014-08-25 09:00:15 GMT
    As Students in our area go back to school, most will purchase a new backpack in order to carry essentials to and from school. It’s important to talk about keeping kids safe ---backpacks can result in back injury, but there are strategies to help you and your student pick the right type of backpack and use it properly, avoiding serious injury.
    As Students in our area go back to school, most will purchase a new backpack in order to carry essentials to and from school. It’s important to talk about keeping kids safe ---backpacks can result in back injury, but there are strategies to help you and your student pick the right type of backpack and use it properly, avoiding serious injury.
  • Dr. Campbell: Robin Williams' death sheds light on depression

    Dr. Campbell: Robin Williams' death sheds light on depression

    Friday, August 15 2014 10:33 AM EDT2014-08-15 14:33:03 GMT
    Depression and bi-polar disorder are common ailments in the United States, Dr. Kevin Campbell said Thursday, after the death of star Robin Williams.
    Depression and bi-polar disorder are common ailments in the United States, Dr. Kevin Campbell said Thursday, after the death of star Robin Williams.
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.