HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
There are two different types of meningitis vaccines. Meningitis B is not covered by the required meningitis ACWY vaccine your teen likely received when they were younger (usually between 11-12 years old).
WHILE MENINGITIS B IS UNCOMMON, COLLEGE STUDENTS ARE MORE LIKELY TO ENGAGE IN CERTAIN COMMON BEHAVIORS THAT ARE RISK FACTORS FOR GETTING THE DISEASE, SUCH AS SHARING DRINKS AND LIVING IN CLOSE QUARTERS
CDC DATA FROM 2015 TO 2018 SHOWED THAT >60% OF 223 MENINGITIS CASES IN 16 TO 23 YEAR OLDS WERE CAUSED BY MENINGITIS B
MENINGITIS B VACCINATION WAS NOT AVAILABLE UNTIL LATE 2014, SO THERE'S A CHANCE THAT YOUR LOVED ONE HAS NOT BEEN VACCINATED
MENINGITIS B OUTBREAKS ON US COLLEGE CAMPUSES
From 2011 through March 2019, colleges and universities in these states reported meningitis B outbreaks.*
(2014, 2016, 2018)
(2013, 2016, 2019)
MENINGITIS B OUTBREAKS ON 13 COLLEGE CAMPUSES FROM 2011 TO 2019
MENINGITIS B CASES, INCLUDING 2 DEATHS, AT COLLEGES OR UNIVERSITIES ACROSS THE US FROM 2011 TO 2019†
*An outbreak is defined as 2-3 outbreak-associated cases within a 3-month time period.
†Among an at-risk population of approximately 253,000 students.
HOW IS MENINGITIS SPREAD?
The bacteria that cause meningitis B are generally spread by 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. The bacteria can be spread through certain everyday behaviors including:
COUGHING & SNEEZING
SHARING DRINKS & UTENSILS
LIVING IN CLOSE QUARTERS
Although meningitis B is uncommon, it can spread through close contact with someone who is infected. However, it's not as contagious as, for example, the flu.
Meningitis B is unpredictable and can strike otherwise healthy individuals. Most carriers do not get sick, though they can still potentially spread meningitis B to others. We don't really know why only about 1% of carriers develop the disease, while others do not.
LIFE AFTER MENINGITIS
Up to 20% of survivors face long-term consequences.
SEPTICEMIA—A BLOOD INFECTION CAUSED BY MENINGITIS—CAN LEAD TO LOSS OF LIMBS AND PERMANENT SKIN SCARRING
MENINGITIS B ATTACKS THE BRAIN AND SPINAL CORD, WHICH CAN LEAD TO COGNITIVE DISABILITIES, NERVOUS SYSTEM PROBLEMS, SUCH AS SEIZURES, AND DEAFNESS
WATCH A MENINGITIS SURVIVOR AND HER MOTHER’S EXPERIENCE
[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.
[Text] Dr. Phil logo in bottom left of all frames
[Dr. Phil VO] Do you ever feel sick, and think it’s the flu? Well my next guest had exactly that feeling, but the next day wound up hospitalized. She later learned she had contracted meningitis. Now in order to save her life, doctors had to amputate her legs, below the knee, and her fingers. Now, some of the images may be disturbing. Here’s Jamie’s remarkable story.
[Jamie VO] When I was 20 years old, I was attending my dream university. One night, I came down with flulike symptoms. I was cold, shivering to the bone. The next morning, I was so weak, I could barely walk. I needed to go to the hospital. I had no idea that would have been
the last time I walked with my natural born legs.
[Jamie VO] The nurse in the emergency room suspected what was later confirmed… that I contracted meningitis.
[Patsy VO] As a mom it was the hardest thing watching her fight for her life.
[Jamie VO] I saw my limbs go from red to purple to black, to literally rotting. All of my fingers and legs below the knees were amputated to help stop the spread of the disease.
[Patsy VO] While Jamie may be missing limbs, I’m certainly fortunate to have my daughter here with me today.
[Jamie VO] Usually people pick up things that they are opening but I have to use surfaces to help me open it. Learning things a new way actually made me this really determined, adaptive person.
[Jamie VO] All of my earrings are hooks because it’s the only type of jewelry I can put on myself.
[Jamie VO] Today, I’m a woman living life to the fullest, and I found love along the way. I feel like the best is yet to come.
[Dr. Phil VO] Well, Jamie joins me along with Dr. Len Friedland, pediatrician and vaccine research scientist at pharmaceutical company GSK who we’re partnering with today. Now, also joining us in the audience is Jamie’s mother Patsy, so welcome. Glad to have you here. Now, Jamie, had you ever heard of meningitis before your diagnosis?
[Jamie VO] No, it was the scariest experience.
[Dr. Phil VO] Now, we saw how the disease turned your limbs black, what were you feeling at that point?
[Jamie VO] An excruciating amount of pain, and I felt like I had thousands of pounds of sand on me.
[Super] Jamie, MENINGITIS SURVIVOR & GSK SPOKESPERSON
[Jamie VO] After two months of being in the hospital, the doctors started to talk about amputations, and they decided to amputate my limbs to help stop the spread of the disease.
[Super] Jamie, HAD LEGS & FINGERS AMPUTATED AFTER CONTRACTING MENINGITIS
[Dr. Phil VO] Wow, so Patsy, as a mother how did you handle Jamie’s diagnosis? Had to be shocking.
[Patsy VO] Well, I was shocked and it was pretty devastating. Jamie’s my young, vibrant, healthy child.
[Super] Patsy, GSK SPOKESPERSON
[Dr. Phil VO] So, Dr. Friedland, talk about what meningitis really is.
[Dr. Friedland VO] Jamie had invasive meningococcal disease, commonly referred to as meningitis. It can cause inflammation of the protective membranes that surround the brain and the spinal cord. It can also cause blood poisoning with sepsis. Now there are five vaccine preventable groups: A, C, W, Y and B.
[Super] Dr. Len Friedland, SCIENTIFIC AFFAIRS & PUBLIC HEALTH GSK
[Dr. Friedland VO] Early symptoms can be similar to a mild case of the flu but as we saw with Jamie this can progress very rapidly. Meningitis is uncommon, but it’s potentially fatal. 1 in 10 will die, sometimes within 24 hours, and of those who survive 1 in 5 suffer long-term consequences. Such as, loss of limbs like Jamie.
[Dr. Phil VO] So who is most at risk of being infected?
[Dr. Friedland VO] Well, anybody can get meningitis, but teenagers and young adults have higher rates of infection with meningitis group B. For college students, there are increased risks that include, living in close quarters, sharing things like food and drinks, and kissing.
[Dr. Friedland VO] In fact, from 2011 through March of this year, meningitis B caused all
U.S. college meningococcal outbreaks, and that involved 13 college campuses, 50 cases, 2 deaths among an at-risk population of about 253,000 students.
[Dr. Phil VO] So doctor, what can parents do to help protect their teens and young adults?
[Dr. Friedland VO] What parents can do is they can speak to their teen’s doctor and ask about the two different types of vaccines that are available and needed to help protect against vaccine preventable meningitis due to groups A, C, W, Y and B before their teenager heads off to college.
[Dr. Friedland VO] Now, vaccination may not protect everybody, but it can help save lives.
[Dr Phil VO] Jamie, you not only survived meningitis, you have a whole new life path.
[Jamie VO] With my mother, we are GSK spokespeople and we’re advocates for the meningitis vaccines. We want to help other families avoid this.
[Super] Jamie, MENINGITIS SURVIVIOR & GSK SPOKESPERSON
[Jamie VO] After my amputations, I wasn’t even sure if I was going to walk again.
[Dr. Phil VO] But, not only are you walking again, but you also went on to become a competitive cyclist, right?
[Jamie VO] I did, and I have a gold medal to prove it.
[Super] Jamie, U.S. PARA-ATHLETE
[Dr. Phil VO] Well, congratulations on that, that’s amazing.
[Dr. Phil VO] Parents, I just have to say, it is imperative that you take this very, very seriously. Get educated about meningitis vaccinations, and a great place to start is at meningitisb.com, and talk to your teen’s doctor about the two different types of meningitis vaccines. It’s really important that you ask these questions, this doesn’t just happen to other people. Take the precautions.
[Dr. Phil VO] I want to thank all of my guests today, especially Dr. Len Friedland.
[Dr. Phil VO] Jamie, you are an absolute inspiration. Turning this into something positive. So, God bless you, thank you for that.
[Jamie VO] Thank you for having me.
Vaccination may not protect all recipients.