Neisseria meningitidis is the most common type of bacteria that causes meningitis in kids and young adults in the United States. The typical way it presents itself is with sudden onset of fever, nausea, vomiting, headache, decreased ability to concentrate, and muscle aches in an otherwise healthy patient. The disease can spread quite quickly from person to person through aerosol droplets (sneezing and coughing), which is why we are aggressive with trying to vaccinate kids before heading off to college dorms.
For vaccinations, we follow recommendations issued by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). Vaccination for all individuals between 11 and 18 years of age, for individuals between 2 and 10 years of age who are at increased risk for infections, and for individuals between 19 and 55 years of age who are at increased risk for infections. We are using Menveo, which has been used for several years. Serogroup B meningococcus vaccination is newer and is now recommended in light of the recent outbreak in Oregon in the past year. It will provide short-term protection against most strains of the type B strain of meningitis. Corvallis Family Medicine also carries this type of vaccination, called Bexsero.
Both types of meningitis vaccine are available at Corvallis Family Medicine. Please schedule an adolescent or well child checkup to review vaccinations and ensure you are up to date!