Two deadly diseases both in Africa and the US. One bacterial one viral. Both are spread the same way. Both have short incubation periods. Both cause hemorrhage and death. I know this too well because I watched my only child die with one of them. He developed fever and an ear ache, joint pain, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain and with in 14 hours he had blood coming from every orifice of his body and he died.
Each year in the US this disease attacks several thousand. Many like Ryan die horrible deaths. Many are left with severe scars, limb amputations, the loss of their faces, organ damage leading to transplant, severe digestive disorders, infertility, vision and hearing loss, serious brain damage causing mental disorders and learning disabilities. The suffering doesn’t stop once they leave the hospital most of the time it last a life time. It cost our government millions of dollars to care for one victim of this disease, not to mention the toll it takes on the family and community.
One is vaccine preventable and one is not. The most at risk for one are infants – age 22 and those with compromised immune systems. Teens are most often the victims.
Their symptoms are almost the same. They both can be misdiagnosed. By now you have guessed that one is Ebola. Did you know the other one is meningococcal meningitis/meningococcemia. That is right, the disease the CDC recommends you vaccinate those children age 11- young adults age 22.
Right now in the US only 4 of the 5 serogroups (A,C,Y and W135) of meningococcal disease are preventable with vaccines. There are 2 vaccines on the market. One vaccine (Menactra) is approved for ages down to 9 months. One vaccine (Menveo) is approved for ages down to 2 months. However FDA is currently reviewing 2 vaccines for the prevention of group B.
Remember group B is what cause the outbreaks at Princeton and the University of California earlier this year. Group B vaccine was brought in to the US to vaccinate students in the outbreak. Many parents at least the ones who can afford it, because it is approved in Canada are taking their kids there to get the B vaccine.
Right now it appears according to the latest statistics that about 60-70% of teens in the US are getting the vaccines. Most of those are in states that require the vaccine for middle school and college entry. Just yesterday a young man in Florida died with it. Be aware that meningitis does not stop at the dorm room door.
Ebola has reached our shores. It is not vaccine preventable. Fear will abound until this disease is contained. Meningococcal disease has been here for years. In fact did you know Helen Keller was left blind and death as a result of meningitis? We don’t have to fear it! IT IS PREVENTABLE!! So as a mom who lost her only child and the national director of an organization that works with hundreds of victims and families, I am asking you to talk to your health care providers, your health departments, your policy makers and make sure your state is vaccinating at middle school entry and high school exit.
Do you know the signs and symptoms of these deadly diseases? They are listed below.
|The signs and symptoms of Ebola:
- fever (greater than 38.6°C or 101.5°F)
- severe headache
- muscle pain
- abdominal (stomach) pain
- unexplained hemorrhage (bleeding or bruising)
Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola, but the average is 8 to 10 days.
Death is common.
|Meningitis/meningococcemia symptoms In addition to a stiff neck, can include:
- severe headache
- a rash
- joint pain
- internal hemorrhaging
- sensitivity to light (photophobia)
- mental status changes, such as lethargy, delirium, hallucinations, etc.
- a bulging fontanel in infants whose fontanel or soft spot hasn’t closed yet.
Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 10 days after exposure and death or complete debilitation can occur within 24 hours or less
If you think you are somone you love may have either of these diseases seek emergency care immediately. You may even express your concern when making that 911 call to prevent the spread.
For more information on Ebola or Meningococcal Meningitis or other vaccine preventable diseases; visit http://www.CDC.gov or for meningitis visit http://www.Meningitis-Angels.org
Please Dn’t W8 2 L8 2 Vaxn8