What's Going Around - April 13, 2010

By: Stacia Naquin Email
By: Stacia Naquin Email

A meningitis scare this week at Denver's Auraria Campus, a 20-year-old college student went to a party and then later died from the illness. Now five other students are being given preventative treatment. That's the nature of meningitis. It is extremely dangerous. So we wanted to give you some facts.

First off: What is it? Web md says meningitis is an infection of the coverings around the brain and spinal cord. There are also two kinds of meningitis: viral meningitis, which usually does not cause serious illness but can cause fever and seizures… and bacterial meningitis, which can lead to brain damage and death.

And here's a look at the symptoms: fever, headache, vomiting, trouble staying awake and in some cases, seizures.

This infection tends to break more out frequently among groups of young people... college students being the perfect example. So doctors do recommend immunization. Some colleges even require it.

We talked with Dr. Steven Reich from Colorado Springs Health Partners. He says that will provide you protection against four subtypes of meningococcus. Your child can get the shot anytime after their 11th birthday and it protects for about 10 years. So it is considered to be good through college.

Remember, this infection can overwhelm even a healthy person. So talk to your doctor about what's right for your family.

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