Vaccination against meningitis and knowledge of the disease’s symptoms and progression are stressed on this year’s theme for World Meningitis Day on April 24: “24 Hours — Trust Your Instincts.”
“Awareness is key to prevention, because knowing what to look out for leads to prompt treatment, which reduces the likelihood of life-long disability and can save lives,” Chris Head, president of the Confederation of Meningitis Organisations, wrote in a blog released by the organization. “If parents don’t know what meningitis is, then they may wait until it is too late before taking their child to the hospital.”
The CDC reports that although cases of meningitis are at an all-time low in the United States — 375 cases of meningococcal disease were reported in the U.S. in 2015 — more than 1.2 million annual cases of the disease are estimated worldwide, with bacterial meningitis annually. They also report that, if left untreated, the disease’s mortality rate can reach up to 70% depending on the age range, location and cause of the disease.
The Confederation of Meningitis Organisations stressed the importance of timely action in their blog post by reminding readers that once symptoms begin, the disease can become fatal within 24 to 48 hours. They report that the vaccines available against meningitis can prevent up to 90% of bacterial meningitis cases. The CDC recommends that all children between the ages of 11 and 12 be vaccinated, and a booster dose should be administered at 16 years.
To provide pediatricians with more information regarding meningitis on World Meningitis Day, Infectious Diseases in Children compiled several articles about vaccination, treatment, and demographics affected by the disease.
MMR vaccine, improved diagnostics reduce meningitis admissions in UK
Mumps vaccination, PCR testing for specific viruses and more sensitive clinical management techniques significantly reduced hospital admission rates for viral meningitis among children in the United Kingdom during the past 50 years, according to recent study findings. Read More
Meningitis decision rule fails to deter hospitalization of very low risk children
Recent research in Hospital Pediatrics determined that children designated as very low risk using a bacterial meningitis clinical decision rule were still exposed to hospital-related risks and costs for suspected meningitis infection. Read More
IDSA guidelines address health care-associated ventriculitis, meningitis
The Infectious Diseases Society of America has released new guidelines on detecting and treating ventriculitis and meningitis occurring after invasive procedures. Read More
AAP issues meningococcal B vaccine guidelines for adolescents
Trumenba and Bexsero have both been approved for the prevention of serogroup B meningococcal disease in individuals aged 10 through 25 years by the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases. Read More
Preventing and responding to college campus outbreaks
Life on a college campus is synonymous with crowded academic and athletic environments, social events and dormitory residences, all of which create an ideal setting for the spread of infectious diseases. Most recently, meningococcal meningitis and mumps outbreaks have been reported from several campuses. This article will focus on the prevention and response to outbreaks of both diseases in this setting. Read More
— by Katherine Bortz
World Meningitis Day: Why is it important to Trust Your Instincts?
Meningitis: Epidemiology of Meningitis (CDC)
Meningococcal Disease: Surveillance (CDC)
Meningococcal Vaccination (CDC)