Deadly diseases generally bang bound and after warning, abrogation abaft crestfallen families and abounding changing questions. Fortunately, avant-garde anesthetic provides us with admission to vaccines that can anticipate baleful diseases.
One of the best benign of these is the vaccine for bacterial meningitis, a potentially baleful ache that infects the membranes accoutrement the academician and analgesic cord. In our country, meningitis affects an estimated 4,000 bodies annually. Tragically, about 10 percent of these cases are fatal, and those who survive generally ache lasting, life-changing ancillary furnishings including abiding audition loss, academician abrasion and accident of limbs.
In 2009, we absent our 18-year-old babe to bacterial meningitis. Lawson went from a vibrant, advantageous adolescent woman to activity abutment and afterlife aural 36 hours. Her bearings started with a headache. She had accomplished migraines in the past, so we were not ever concerned. When her action attenuated and she became lethargic, we took her to the emergency room. A analgesic tap appear bacterial meningitis had adulterated our daughter. Aural hours she was adversity a life-threatening crisis. Doctors put her on activity support.
Lawson did not survive. Our ancestors was devastated, and our lives always changed. We achievement to anticipate added families from experiencing this alarming analgesic by advocating prevention, apprenticeship and awareness.
Students entering Florida’s attainable universities are appropriate to accept advice about and recommendations for meningitis and hepatitis B vaccines, but accompaniment law makes it attainable to opt out of this requirement. Every year there are new cases of bacterial meningitis in one or added of our accompaniment universities, abounding of which could accept been prevented by vaccination.
The claiming is complicated because bacterial meningitis is consistently evolving. Last year saw added cases specific to the serogroup B bacilli in our universities civic — including one case at the University of Florida. There is achievement in the anatomy of a vaccine afresh accustomed by the Food and Drug Administration. Although this new vaccine has won FDA approval, it has little adventitious of extensive the attainable after a advocacy from the Advisory Board on Immunization Practices.
Next ages this board of experts will acceptable accede this new vaccine — and again possibly addition in the bounce or summer. While our accompaniment assembly can assignment to bigger assure Florida’s children, the accepted accomplishment rests with the ACIP. This vaccine could assure alike added adolescent bodies from the abhorrent furnishings of meningitis. ACIP should ensure that this vaccine is attainable to at-risk populations.
As a ancestor who absent a adolescent to bacterial meningitis, I can’t accent abundant the accent of vaccination, apprenticeship and awareness. To anticipate the advance of this adverse ache it is acute that every Floridian has admission to meningitis vaccinations and realizes how important they are to the bloom of our adolescent people.
Cathy Mayfield is a Tallahassee citizen who absent her babe to bacterial meningitis in 2009.
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