While meningitis is rare, it's a serious and potentially life-threatening disease. So it's a good idea to know typical meningitis symptoms. The most common are:
Stiff neck, sometimes so stiff that it's difficult to touch the chin to the chest
Headache, sometimes severe
Nausea or vomiting
Discomfort from bright lights
Sometimes, these symptoms follow a flu-like illness, ear infection, or sinus infection.
If your child...
Certain diseases have been identified that pose the greatest threat to
the U.S. public. At this time, there is a supply of anthrax and smallpox
vaccines only. These
immunizations are not currently available to or
recommended for the general public. But the government has advised immunization
for people at high risk of exposure to anthrax or smallpox, such as health care
workers specifically designated to respond to a bioterrorism emergency. Some of
these recommendations are listed below.
This shot is for people at high risk of exposure, such as
certain lab workers, people who work with imported animals where preventive
standards are lacking (such as veterinarians who travel to work in other
countries), and certain military members.
Five shots are given over 18 months. And booster shots
are needed every year for continued protection (immunity).
This shot is for certain health care and public health workers,
infection-control specialists, and certain military members.
This shot is given once as several quick punctures on
the upper arm, using a special prong device. Immunity after a first-time
immunization is likely to be 3 to 5 years. If you have been immunized in the
past, successful revaccination may extend your immunity.
United States has enough smallpox vaccine to vaccinate Americans in an
More information about these
immunization recommendations can be found on the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC) website at www.bt.cdc.gov/bioterrorism. For general
information about bioterrorism issues, see the topic
Terrorism and Other Public Health Threats.