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Meningitis in Children (cont.)

Prevention of Meningitis in Children

Specific vaccines are available to protect and reduce the chances of developing both the bacterial and viral types of meningitis. The antibacterial vaccines include Hib, meningococcal, and pneumococcal and the antiviral vaccines include influenza, varicella, polio, measles, and mumps. The following two tables show the CDC recommended vaccines for infants and children up to age 18 as of 2011 (most recent available) that include those that protect or reduce the chances for certain bacterial and viral meningitis infections and other infections:

Picture of CDC vaccination schedule for children up to 6 years of age
Picture of CDC vaccination schedule for children and adolescents from 7 to 18 years of age

For details on the above two tables, pleases see the following link to the CDC site: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/schedules/child-schedule.htm

Vaccines against Hib and S. pneumoniae have markedly reduced the number of infected children. Also, if a child has not obtained vaccination against N. meningitidis, in some states they will not be allowed to attend college classes until they prove they are vaccinated.

Antibiotics are given to all intimate contacts of a child with meningococcal meningitis, a very specific type of bacterial meningitis. These intimate contacts may include family members, friends, health care workers, and even day care or nursery contacts. Adults can contract this type of meningitis and become carriers of these bacteria. If adults have been given preventive antibiotics and then become sick or develop any symptoms, they need a full medical evaluation. Preventive antibiotics are not needed for cases of viral meningitis or with other types of bacterial meningitis except for some relatives or caregivers who are caring for patients with Hib infections.

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Meningitis in Children - Symptoms

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Meningitis, Bacterial »

Bacterial meningitis is a life-threatening illness that results from bacterial infection of the meninges.

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