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Meningococcal meningitis mainly affects infants and adolescents who are generally considered healthy, presenting with symptoms that can be likened to the flu, myalgia, headache, fever, photophobia, stiff neck, rash and eventual total body organ failure. The disease is caused by a bacteria, Neisseria meningitidis, that is common in the community (15% are carriers), transmitted in mucous and saliva as it lives in people's upper airways, but only causes death to relatively few. The bacteria also cause survivors to be left with brain damage, amputated limbs, kidney disease, and other organ dysfunction. These adverse effects can be avoided with timely diagnosis of meningococcal disease with antibiotic treatment and prevention via vaccination.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by Inside Bay Area
About: Vaccination a life saver against meningitis
Date: 28 August 2005
Source: Inside Bay Area
Author: Brian Chasnoff
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