Communal living is one of the highlights of the college experience, but it can also be an environment that enables the spread of dangerous illnesses, such as Bacterial Meningitis. Most college-bound students have likely already received many school-required vaccinations, but may not have been immunized with the Meningococcal vaccine, which protects against bacterial meningitis. Currently, only students living on campus are required to have the Meningococcal vaccine; however, starting January 1, 2012, all college students under the age of 30 will be required to receive the vaccine.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord, usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection. Viral meningitis is generally less severe and clears up without specific treatment. Meningitis caused by bacteria, on the other hand, can be quite severe and may result in brain damage, hearing loss or death. College students should look out for high fever, headaches, and a stiff neck, which are common symptoms of meningitis in anyone over the age of two years. These symptoms can develop over several hours, or they may take one to two days. Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, discomfort looking into bright lights, confusion and sleepiness. Some forms of bacterial meningitis are contagious. The bacteria can mainly be spread from person-to-person through the exchange of respiratory and throat secretions. This can occur through coughing, kissing and sneezing. Also, the bacteria are not spread by casual contact or by simply breathing the air where a person with meningitis has been.
A complete checklist of the 2011-2012 Texas state immunization requirements for students entering college is printed below and also can be found at www.rediclinic.com/vaccines.
In addition to the State requirements RediClinic makes the following recommendations:
|IMMUNIZATIONS||DOSE REQUIREMENTS AND REDICLINIC RECOMMENDED IMMUNIZATIONS FOR COLLEGE|
(Menactra, bacterial meningitis vaccine)
|HPV (Human Papilloma Virus)||
|TB Skin Test||
According to Texas law, the deadline for the Meningococcal vaccine isn’t until the end of the year (December 2011), but pushing the doctor’s visit to the busy holiday season could result in long wait times and even shortages of certain vaccines. And, students risk exposure to infection during the busy fall semester if they delay.
Since college-bound students do not want to spend their precious summer days sitting around in waiting rooms, RediClinic provides a convenient alternative. Review and administration of immunizations and physical exams are also among the several services offered at your neighborhood RediClinic. Wait times are short, the clinics in H-E-B grocery stores are convenient and the prices are affordable.
Avoid the rush and make sure your college student is up-to-date on move-in day. You can spend the rest of the season enjoying time with your family with the knowledge that your undergrad is protected and prepared for the upcoming school year.
RediClinic, located inside Katy H-E-B grocery stores at 25675 Nelson Way and 6711 S. Fry Road are open seven days a week, and no appointments are necessary. For more information, visit www.rediclinic.com.
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