As Parents, it’s a fact that we do everything in our power to protect our kids and make sure they are healthy. However, we may not always be aware of how to protect them from some of the most dangerous diseases. Recently I was invited to participate in a blog tour to bring awareness to serious disease called Meningococcal disease; most of us know it as meningitis. I knew personally that I had to participate in this tour since it hits close to home. One of my close friends lost her newborn due to meningitis. At the time we didn’t really understand what meningitis was or how dangerous it could be. Today, I am happy to say that we are hearing more about it and helping educate parents on how serious this can be.
Meningococcal disease is a sudden and very aggressive illness that can kill a previously healthy child within 24-48 hours of the first symptoms, which typically start out as non-specific and mimic symptoms of the flu. Infants younger than one year old are at a disproportionately higher risk for contracting meningococcal meningitis due to their less sophisticated immune systems. Approximately 1 in 16 infants who contract meningococcal disease will die from it! While vaccines exist to protect against this deadly disease, they are not currently universally recommended for infants. According to a 2010 ACIP presentation, infant vaccination for meningococcal disease would prevent approximately 195 cases and 13 infant deaths caused by this disease each year, making this vaccination an important step towards eliminating the disease entirely in the U.S. (much like we were able to achieve with a vaccine for polio and small pox)
Meningitis Angels, an organization dedicated to raising awareness about meningitis and other vaccine-preventable diseases, is working to fight against meningococcal disease. One step in this fight is “Protect Infants Now” (PIN), a campaign aimed at encouraging the government to recommend the current meningococcal meningitis vaccines be given to infants. Through the online PIN petition, Meningitis Angels wants to encourage the CDC to include meningitis vaccines in the recommended vaccination schedule for infants.
I urge you all to please sign this online petition to protect our babies and help make sure another mom don’t have to go thru what my friend had to. In the United States, there are roughly 300 to 400 cases of neonatal meningitis for every 100,000 live births!
I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central and Meningitis Angels. This campaign was made possible in part through support provided by Novartis Vaccines. A small donation to a charity of my choice was made in my name from Mom Central as a thank-you for participating. All opinions in this posting are 100% my own