Meningococcal Disease and Vaccine: What You Should Know
What is it?
Meningococcal disease is a serious illness caused by bacteria that can infect the blood or areas around the brain and spinal cord. Infection can lead to brain damage, disability and rapid death.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms may include fever, intense headache, lethargy, stiff neck, and a rash that does not blanch under pressure. Anyone with potential exposure who develops any of these symptoms should immediately contact a healthcare provider or emergency room for evaluation of possible meningococcal disease.
How is it spread?
The bacteria can be spread through close contact, such as sharing drinking glasses, eating utensils, cigarettes, or water bottles. They can also be spread by kissing, smoking and living in close quarters. The time between exposure to the disease and the onset of symptoms can be between two to 10 days. Individuals who had close contact with someone who is infected should receive antibiotics to prevent any possible infection. Preventive antibiotics are not recommended for people who were not in close contact with an infected person, but they should be aware of possible symptoms and make sure they have received the recommended vaccination against the disease.
How do you prevent it?
There are two types of vaccine, MCV4 and MPSV4, that protect against most, but not all, types of Nisseria Meningitidis, a bacteria that can cause meningococcal meningitis. MCV4 is routinely recommended for children and adolescents 11-18 years of age, with an initial dose recommended at age 11-12 and a booster at age 16. People ages 19-21 years who are first-year college students living in a residence hall are also recommended to receive this vaccine if their previous dose was given younger than 16 years of age.
Where can I get more information?
Your doctor or regular source of medical care is your best source of health information. Additional information for the public and health care providers on Meningococcal Disease, as well as the vaccine that protects against most types of the disease, can be found on the CDC's website here.
It's Not Too Late To Get Flu Vaccine!
With the holiday season in full swing, people may not be thinking about the flu and flu vaccine. There's a lot going on as families shop, decorate, plan get-togethers and trips to see relatives and just generally prepare for upcoming holidays.
But the flu is still out there, making people sick. And flu season often doesn't hit its peak until February. So, this is a great time to get flu vaccine if you haven't already. The vaccine is plentiful and easy to get. For more information about the flu and how to get vaccinated, please visit this page.
yourself and those around you.. It's not too late--get flu vaccine!
Random Digit Dialing Telephone Surveys (RDD)
The County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency's Immunization Branch conducts Random Digit Dialing (RDD) telephone surveys. Interviewers make phone calls to randomly selected phone numbers to assess immunization coverage rates as well as the knowledge, attitudes and beliefs about vaccines among San Diego County residents. Surveys provide valuable data to determine what proportions of children living in San Diego County are fully immunized. The information collected helps us plan programs to do a better job of protecting all San Diegans from vaccine preventable diseases. For more information, please contact Heidi deGuzman, Program Chief, at 866-358-2966.
Website For Parents
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has an immunization website for parents. Called For
Parents: Vaccines for Your Children, it features
information about a host of topics of special interest
to parents, including recording immunizations, finding
old immunization records, vaccinations during
pregnancy, what immunizations a child needs before
traveling internationally, and much more! Visit the
See the Pertussis Booster Video PSA:
Pertussis Booster Video PSA:
The pertussis vaccination school entry
law went into effect July 1, 2011 and requires all 7th
through 12th graders-in public and
private schools-to show proof of having
received the pertussis booster shot, or Tdap, in
order to enroll in school.
The requirement impacted about 230,000 local
students; more than half had not received the
vaccine when schools districts increased their
efforts to identity those that have not received
the booster shot.
addition to the special clinics organized by
HHSA, parents can also get the vaccine from
their primary care physician, community clinic
or retail pharmacy.
Free Text4Baby Program Texts
Health Messages To Pregnant Women
Diego county is the first county in the country
to be implementing a customized version of the free
Text4baby program. Women who sign up for Text4baby
with a San Diego zip code will receive information
about local services rather than being directed to
national services or 800 numbers for national
programs. Health information texts cover
immunizations, nutrition Etc. To register today by
sending a text to BABY (511411) or BEBE for Spanish,
or visit www.Text4baby.org
to learn more!
Vaccines.gov: Consumer-Based Immunization Information Website!
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
has an innovative website to help
parents and other consumers learn about the most
effective way to protect themselves and their
children from infectious diseases and learn
about immunization. Vaccines.gov
brings together the best in federal resources on
vaccine and immunizations to provide consumers
with easy-to-understand health information
specifically for their needs
Washing your hands often and properly with soap and warm water is one of the best ways of protecting yourself against the flu and other contagious diseases. Here’s a podcast from the federal Centers for Disease Control for kids about the importance of handwashing,
called: “All You Have To Do Is Wash Your Hands”
CDC Catch-Up Scheduler
Online "Catch-up Immunization Scheduler for Children Six Years and Younger" more...
Bears, Blocks, and Blue Cards
Free training opportunity that provides an overview of the responsibilities of family child care providers as well as the information and resources needed to comply with this law.
Tips for Finding Old Immunization Records