Chicago expands meningitis vaccine recommendation - Washington Times

But for scientific and other reasons, it’s taken longer to develop and approve a vaccine for Meningitis B. Symptoms can appear within two to 10 days, and include fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, confusion and increased sensitivity to light. Viral meningitis may improve without treatment, but bacterial meningitis is severe, it can come on very quickly and requires prompt antibiotic treatment to improve the chances of a recovery.

Meningococcal disease is a rare but devastating illness caused by a bacterium, Neisseria meningitidis, which primarily affects infants and children.

This type of meningitis can result from meningococcal disease, wherein bacteria permeate the protective membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord, according to the CDC.

Chicago Ald. Tom Tunney was vaccinated outside the Howard Brown Health Center in an effort to raise awareness about the deadly outbreak of the disease.

Even so, Health Commissioner Dr. Julie Morita counseled calm and a readily available vaccination for invasive meningococcal disease. Health officials say there have been six confirmed cases of meningitis among men who have sex with men, including one death, since the beginning of June and they're investigating a potential seventh case. It can spread through kissing, or drinking from the same cup. The festival which draws about a million people saw national health officials asking all gay and bisexual men to get vaccinated against meningitis.

The CDC typically advises children to be vaccinated at 11 or 12 and receive a booster shot after about five years.

Christopher Barrett Politan, executive director of the Northalsted Business Alliance, which organizes pride festivities, stated that in collaboration with the Chicago department of public health, many organizations will be offering free meningitis vaccinations.

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