UNDERSTAND THE RISK FOR MENINGITIS
Although anyone can get meningitis, adolescents and young adults have higher rates of meningococcal disease.
Watch the video below to hear from a meningitis survivor and her mother:
[Text] Jamie Schanbaum, a survivor of meningococcal disease, and her mom, Patsy Schanbaum, are patient advocates.
[Text] They were compensated by GSK for their participation.
[Text] This is their story — other people’s experiences with meningococcal disease may be different.
[Text] Vaccination may not protect all recipients.
[Text] Jamie & Patsy Schanbaum’s Story
[Patsy VO] My biggest job as a mom is to always help protect my children. I’m always there one step behind them in case they fall.
[Patsy VO] My youngest child Jamie was 20-years-old when she got meningitis and she was in the hospital for seven months.
[Jamie VO] In 24 hours, I went from being very healthy and free-spirited to being in the hospital facing very serious decisions.
[Patsy VO] We see her limbs going from pink to purple; her limbs just dying off.
[Jamie VO] I would say no parent ever really prepares for something like that.
[Patsy VO] It wasn’t easy to make the decision, but the decision was made as a family—that we were going to move forward with the amputations and move forward with our lives. And we chose life.
[Jamie VO] My mom was telling me to keep moving forward and to not dwell on what’s going on right now. Just to keep looking forward.
[Patsy VO] Just a year after learning to walk again, Jamie was back on her bike. And it was soon after that that I was able to be there when she received a gold medal for her cycling. I was so proud of her. I wish the whole world had been there to see her in that moment.
[Jamie VO] Today, my mom and I work together to help educate young adults and parents about meningitis. There are different vaccines to help protect teens and young adults against the five vaccine-preventable groups of meningitis: A, C, W, Y, and B.
[Text VO] There are two different types of vaccines to help protect teens and young adults against the five vaccine-preventable groups of meningitis: A, C, W, Y, and B.
[Text VO] Vaccination may not protect all recipients.
[Patsy VO] If moms knew how serious meningitis can be when it strikes, even though it’s rare, they would want to help protect their kids.
A number of cases and outbreaks have been reported at colleges or universities in California, Massachusetts, Oregon, Wisconsin, Rhode Island, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
COLLEGE STUDENTS ARE 3X MORE LIKELY TO CONTRACT MENINGITIS B
Although the disease is not restricted to one demographic, it is estimated that college students are more than three times as likely to contract meningitis B than those not attending college, according to a recent CDC study conducted between 2015 and 2016.
FOR THOSE WHO SURVIVE, ABOUT ONE IN FIVE WILL SUFFER LONG-TERM CONSEQUENCES
Like other serogroups [groups] of meningococcal disease, meningitis B can lead to death in 1 in 10 cases, sometimes within 24 hours, after symptoms appear. Survivors of meningitis B can experience a variety of long-term consequences including hearing loss, brain damage and nervous system problems, kidney damage, loss of limbs, and skin scarring.
HOW IS MENINGITIS SPREAD?
The bacteria that cause meningitis B are generally spread from direct contact of one person with another. Bacteria that cause meningitis B live within the nose and throat of an infected person or a person who is a carrier of the bacteria. It can be spread through certain everyday behaviors including:
COUGHING & SNEEZING
SHARING DRINKS & UTENSILS
LIVING IN CLOSE QUARTERS
While the bacteria that causes meningitis B disease or meningococcal disease are very dangerous, the good news is that the bacteria cannot live outside one’s body for a long period of time. As a result, the infection is not as easily spread as, for example, the flu.
Carriers can still potentially spread meningitis B to others, since it is carried on or in one's body. Meningitis B is unpredictable and we don’t really know why some carriers become sick while others do not.