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U.S. News & World Report: What You Need to Know About Meningitis Vaccines

By Vanessa Caceres

Spinal Meningitis, which is an inflammation that affects the protective membranes around the brain and spinal cord, is a serious and potentially deadly health problem. However, there are several effective vaccines available now that can help the immune system fight some types of meningitis. In fact, vaccines have helped reduce many cases of meningitis that once occurred.

Spinal meningitis cases in the U.S. are at an all-time low, and doctors think that's due to the increase in vaccinations for the disease.

Because of the continuous use of vaccines, the number of meningitis cases has remained low, adds Dr. Barbara Pahud, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Medicine and a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Children’s Mercy Hospital Kansas City. If many children and young adults don't get the vaccines, the number of meningitis cases could go up again, she says.

The most common types of meningitis are viral and bacterial. There’s no vaccine for viral meningitis. If you get viral meningitis, all you can really do is rest for about a week to 10 days. The best way to help protect against viral meningitis is the same as any other virus – better hand-washing habits and to avoid coughing or sneezing into your hands. That’s because many infections are passed through hand contact.


Read the full story via U.S. News & World Report

Learn more about Infectious Diseases at Children's Mercy