An Indiana law requires that each year parents and guardians be informed “about meningococcal disease and its vaccine” (IC 20-30-5-18).
Meningococcal disease is a dangerous disease that can strike children and youth. The disease can progress rapidly and within hours of the first symptoms, may result in death or permanent disability including loss of hearing, brain damage, and limb amputations.
Symptoms of meningococcal disease often resemble the flu and can include a fever, headache, nausea, and stiff neck, making the disease difficult to diagnose. The bacteria that cause meningococcal diseases are transmitted through air droplets and by direct contact with an infected person. Fortunately there is an immunization available and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends routine meningococcal immunizations at 11-12 years of age. For teenagers, a booster dose is also recommended at age 16. Indiana law requires vaccination against meningococcal disease before entering 6th grade and a booster dose before 12th grade.
Please speak with your child’s healthcare provider about meningococcal disease and vaccination.
Amy L. Moss, BSN, RN
Howard Elementary School Nurse
(765)457-8101 Ext. 6011