Meningitis is rare. However, when it strikes, its flu‐like symptoms make diagnosis difficult. If not treated early, meningitis can lead to swelling of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal column, resulting in severe and permanent disabilities, such as hearing loss, brain damage, seizures, limb amputation, and even death.
Cases of meningitis among teens and young adults 15 to 24 years of age have more than doubled since 1991. The disease strikes about 3,000 Americans each year and claims about 300 lives. Between 100 and 125 meningitis cases occur on college campuses and as many as 15 students will die from the disease.
A vaccine is available that protects against four types of the bacteria that cause meningitis in the United States – types A, C, Y and W‐135. These types account for nearly two‐thirds of the meningitis cases among college students. If you wish to obtain a vaccination against this disease, contact your physician for availability and cost.
For additional information on meningitis, you can log on to: www.health.state.ny.us