Meningococcal Vaccine (1)

Meningococcal Vaccine (1) - January22,2009 REPORTER'S FILE

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January 22, 2009 REPORTER'S FILE A Lifesaving Vaccine for College Freshmen By CAROLYN SAYRE In Brief: There are two main types of  meningitis : viral and bacterial. Viral meningitis  typically resolves on its own, while bacterial meningitis can be serious and  potentially fatal. Meningococcal disease, the most common form of bacterial meningitis in children  and young adults, affects between 1,400 and 2,800 Americans every year. Many states now require that at-risk groups like incoming college freshman receive  the new and improved Menactra vaccine that protects against meningococcal disease. Some experts argue against the mandate because the disease afflicts relatively few  people. Seven years ago, when Laurie Hartwig dropped her child off at college, she had  no idea it would be the last time she saw her. A few weeks later, her daughter  McKenzie, a freshman at the University of South Dakota, collapsed during a  volleyball match and was rushed to the hospital. She died that same night from  meningococcal disease, a form of bacterial meningitis that causes inflammation  and  swelling  of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. “We couldn’t make it to the hospital in time,” said Mrs. Hartwig, who lives in  Pinedale, Wyo. “It was devastating - and it still is. People always say, ’Aren’t you  over it by now?’ But it is the kind of thing you never get over.” Death from meningitis is a tragedy that strikes families all too often. Every year 
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Meningococcal Vaccine (1) - January22,2009 REPORTER'S FILE

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