Meningitis

  • Prevention
    • Haemophilus vaccine (HiB vaccine) in children will help prevent one type of meningitis.
    • The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is now a routine childhood immunization and is very effective at preventing pneumococcal meningitis.
    • Household members and others in close contact with people who have meningococcal meningitis should receive preventive antibiotics to avoid becoming infected themselves.

    The meningococcal vaccination is recommended for:

    • Adolescents ages 11 - 12 and adolescents entering high school (about age 15) who have not already received the vaccination.
    • All college freshmen who have not been vaccinated and are living in dorms.
    • Children age 2 and older who do not have their spleen or who have other problems with their immune system.
    • Those traveling to countries where diseases caused by meningococcus are very common (ask your doctor).

    Some communities conduct vaccination campaigns after an outbreak of meningococcal meningitis.


    References

    Swartz MN. Meningitis: bacterial, viral, and other. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 437.