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Nurses Urge Teens Get Meningitis Vaccine

From UPI Health News (Business) (August 4, 2011)

Most U.S. teens are at risk of getting meningococcal disease but most mothers say their preteen and teenage children are at little risk, a survey indicates.

The National Association of School Nurses and Sanofi Pasteur conducted a survey that shows most preteens and teens engage in day-to-day activities that may put them at risk of contracting meningococcal meningitis, a rare but serious bacterial infection that can cause meningitis and take the life of an otherwise healthy child.

Nearly 82 percent of preteens and teens ages 11-17 report engaging in at least one common everyday activity that can put them at risk for contracting meningitis, such as sharing drinking glasses and water bottles, not getting enough sleep, living in close quarters like dormitories and kissing.

School nurses nationwide advise parents vaccination is the best way to help protect young people from meningitis.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends meningococcal vaccination for preteens and teens beginning at age 11, with a booster dose by age 18, but nearly half of U.S. teens are not immunized.

The telephone survey was conducted by Gfk Roper Public Affairs & Corporate Communications on behalf of the NASN and Sanofi Pasteur. About 420 mothers with children ages 11-17 years and 400 teens ages 11-17, were surveyed April 1-10. The margin of error for teens and mothers is 5 percentage points.


Posted: August 2011