Prevention of Meningitis
Prevention list: Methods of prevention of Meningitis mentioned in various sources includes those listed below. This prevention information is gathered from various sources, and may be inaccurate or incomplete. None of these methods guarantee prevention of Meningitis.
- Vaccinations - vaccines against the various bacteria causing meningitis.
- HIB conjugate vaccine - a widely used vaccine that has greatly reduced Hib incidence.
- Meningococcal vaccine
- Polysaccharide meningococcal vaccine - protects against 4 meningococcal strains: A, C, Y, and W135.
- Conjugate meningococcal C vaccine - a newer meningococcal vaccine that works for infants but only against subtype C.
- Polysaccharide pneumococcal vaccine - older vaccine; not for under 2 years.
- Conjugate pneumococcal vaccine - newer vaccine that works for infants.
- MMR vaccine - avoids rare viral meningitis from measles or mumps.
- Varicella vaccine - avoids rare viral meningitis from chickenpox
- Avoid sharing saliva - avoids contagion of meningococcal disease
- Avoid sharing food or drink
- Avoid sharing cigarrettes
- Avoid sharing mouthguards
- Avoid sharing cosmetics
- Avoid droplet or fluid contagion - mainly for bacterial meningitis.
- Hand washing
- Avoid touching face
- Avoid contact with known cases
- Preventive antibiotics - usually only for known contacts of a confirmed case of bacterial meningitis.
Prevention of Meningitis:
there vaccines against meningitis?
Yes, there are vaccines against Hib and against some strains of N. meningitidis and many types of Streptococcus pneumoniae. The vaccines against Hib are very safe and highly effective.
There is also a vaccine that protects against four
strains of N. meningitidis, but it is not routinely used
in the United States and is not effective in children under 18
months of age. The vaccine against N. meningitidis is
sometimes used to control outbreaks of some types of meningococcal
meningitis in the United States. Meningitis cases should be reported
to state or local health departments to assure follow-up of close
contacts and recognize outbreaks. Although large epidemics of
meningococcal meningitis do not occur in the United States, some
countries experience large, periodic epidemics. Overseas travelers
should check to see if meningococcal vaccine is recommended for
their destination. Travelers should receive the vaccine at least
1 week before departure, if possible. Information on areas for
which meningococcal vaccine is recommended can be obtained by
calling the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at (404)-332-4565.
A vaccine to prevent meningitis due to S. pneumoniae (also called pneumococcal meningitis) can also prevent other forms of infection due to S. pneumoniae. The pneumococcal vaccine is not effective in children under 2 years of age but is recommended for all persons over 65 years of age and younger persons with certain chronic medical problems.1
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has modified
its guidelines for use of the polysaccharide meningococcal vaccine
to prevent bacterial meningitis, particularly for college freshmen
who live in dormitories, a group found to be at a modestly increased
risk of meningococcal disease relative to other persons their
1. excerpt from Meningococcal Disease (General): DBMD
Last revision: June 2, 2003
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