Meningitis B: It’s Rare But Stay Prepared

Meningitis B: It’s Rare But Stay Prepared – Meningococcal disease is a rare disease, but a very serious one! There are protections you can take for your teens when it comes to Meningitis B. Learn how right here on Newsymom!

This is Public Health is brought to you in partnership with the Tuscarawas County Health Department.

Meningococcal B disease (MenB) is an uncommon, but serious infection of the membrane of your brain and spinal cord. Though its symptoms start similar to flu symptoms, it has the potential to rip through quickly! 

Symptoms of MenB include:

  • Severe headache
  • High Fever
  • Stiff Neck
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Light sensitivity
  • Rapid breathing
  • Aching joints, limbs, and muscles
  • Shivering
  • Confusion
  • Dark purple rash (typically found on the torso, arms, or legs)
  • Convulsions

Teens and young adults are at the highest risk of contracting MenB. When in high school and college, sharing drinks & utensils, kissing, and living in close quarters are prime opportunities for MenB to spread!

There are visible and invisible consequences after contracting MenB. Visible consequences include: septicemia (blood infection caused by Meningitis), loss of limbs, and permanent skin scarring. Invisible consequences include: cognitive disabilities and nervous system problems such as seizures and deafness. (Credit: MeningitisB.com)

Vaccination is the Best Protection

While hand-washing and practicing good hygiene is extremely important, the best thing you can do to protect your children from MenB is to vaccinate them! 

Though your children may have been vaccinated against Meningitis when they were younger, they may not have their MenB vaccine as it wasn’t available ‘til 2014. If your teen was vaccinated when they were younger, it was likely they received the Meningitis ACWY vaccine, meaning they don’t have protection against MenB

MenB Vaccine: Take the Extra Step to Protect

MenB vaccines are an extra step that you need to take the lead on to protect your child. The MenB vaccine is NOT part of the meningitis vaccine series that is required by public schools for students entering 7th and 12th grades. Therefore, if you want your child to have the MenB protection, you must request it in addition to any other routine vaccinations that are needed or required by the school system.

You can take action by calling the Tuscarawas County Health Department at (330) 343-5555 x. 174 or 181 to schedule your child’s MenB vaccine. They’re even open until 6pm on Thursdays for the parents who work during the day! While you’re there, beat the rush and check in on any other back-to-school or COVID-19 vaccinations your child may need before the next school year.

Real Life Story: Jamie and Patsy Schanbaum

Mom, Patsy Schanbaum, recounts the story of how her youngest daughter, Jamie, contracted MenB while in college, causing the loss of her limbs.


The Tuscarawas County Health Department wants you and your family at your best health for summer festivities! Call (330) 343-5555 x. 174 or 181 to schedule all vaccines for your family before the back-to-school rush. Make sure to follow on Facebook (@tchdnow) for the latest news and safety tips to keep your family healthy this summer.

Melissa Klatt

Reporting

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