Protecting your family from meningitis -

Protect your family from meningitis

Meningitis - a once rare but deadly disease - is on the rise. The symptoms aren't that different from a typical fever with some nausea. Here's what you need to know to protect your family.

"This one just hits you so hard and so fast, and within a matter of hours a life could be lost," said Amy Necaise. Her 19-year-old son died with meningitis, teaching her just how quickly some forms of the disease can kill. That is why she says a vaccine against it can be so important.

Meningitis is rare, but it is much more common in young people, particularly those who live in close quarters like college dorms. So more colleges are now requiring the vaccine.

"It's a very contagious disease," explained nurse practitioner Tonya McKenzie. "It passes from person to person by direct contact or through droplets like coughing."

Nationwide, more cases are being reported in even younger children from high school down to middle and elementary school.

McKenzie said death is not the only concern.

"It can also cause disabilities and deformities," she said. "People can lose a limb. It can affect their heart, their brain, and the spinal cord."

So some states are now requiring the vaccine for younger students. In other areas, it is a recommendation for children starting at age 11.

"There's no words to describe what it's like to lose a child, but to lose a child to something like this that might have been prevented by a vaccine..." Necaise said.

Meningitis vaccines can cost around $200, so parents may want to check to see if health insurance will cover the cost.

Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Physicians warn against giving melatonin to children

    Physicians warn against giving melatonin to children

    Parents desperate to get their troubled sleepers to bed are turning to synthetic melatonin, which is a supplement sold over the counter. But expert warn it could have adverse effects on child development.
    Many adults turn to sleep aids like melatonin, but now more parents are giving them to their kids, too. We talked to physicians to see what they had to say about how it could affect your child's development.
  • Fugitive Friday: Central Virginia's Most Wanted

    Fugitive Friday: Central Virginia's Most Wanted

    Friday, July 25 2014 8:49 AM EDT2014-07-25 12:49:07 GMT
    Fugitive Fridays tracks down Central Virginia's most wanted. Take a look at the photos and see if you can help police track down these suspects.
    Fugitive Friday helps track down Central Virginia's Most Wanted.
  • Six deadly foods for dogs

    Six deadly foods for dogs

    Every pet owner knows a dog can get into just about anything around the house. One woman found that out the hard way when her dog ate a bunch of grapes! Turns out, that's one of the most dangerous foods
    Every pet owner knows a dog can get into just about anything around the house. But these common snacks could be fatal for Fido.
Powered by WorldNow