Meningitis seems to be in and out of the news and garners quite a bit of media attention. It is important to understand the disease and to make an informed decision in regards to it. There is a vaccine for meningitis but it is up to you whether you get vaccinated and you should take into consideration the meningitis vaccine and its side effects.The first and most important thing you should know is just what is Meningitis? Meningitis is the inflammation of the outer lining of the brain and spinal cord. There are different viruses and bacterium that can lead to this illness. Most of the discussion you will hear about from media sources is of one type of meningitis and that is bacterial meningitis caused by Neisseria meningitides. Though this type of illness is rare In the United States, it is responsible for the deaths of children and college students each year.Do to communal type dorm living in colleges; students are at an increased risk. Most colleges are advising that dorm students especially, if not all college students be immunized to reduce this risk.Meningitis C (Neisseria meningitis) is the most deadly strain and while the vast majority of people are happy there is a way to safeguard our teenagers from this serious disease, reports in the news of late have influenced our decisions due to the distressing side effects.The Center for disease control recommends that all college students take the meningitis immunization regardless of the side effects. In particular, those who live in close quarters (dormitories, fraternities, and sororities), who frequent bars or consume alcohol, who smoke or are regularly around smokers are at higher risk and should consider vaccination. Students with certain chronic conditions (have had their spleen removed) should be vaccinated. Students traveling to high- risk areas of the world (sub-Sahara Africa) should consider vaccinationWho should NOT take the Meningitis vaccine? Anyone with a severe allergy to it or its components Anyone with a fever Anyone with sever flu like symptoms or is actively with an infection Anyone pregnant or breastfeeding Anyone who has had meningitis within the past six months Meningitis vaccine side effects Redness,soreness, and swelling at the injection site Other reactions may include fever headache, nausea dizziness fatigue joint pain rashes should subside in 1 to 2 days Allergic reactions like hives itching wheezing swelling of the face and mouth Unfortunately, as with all medications and vaccinations, there is potential for meningitis vaccine side effects. Making an informed decision about being vaccinated or not is just one component in your over all health. But it is a vital one and one you should research. If you do not want the vaccines because you are afraid of a shot then research more!
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