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Scenic Mountain Medical Center
Healthcare - Health Services
Big Spring, TX
Welcome! Thank you for your interest in us. At
Scenic Mountain Medical Center,
we are more than a modern healthcare facility. We are people dedicated to providing safe, compassionate patient care and superior customer service. Our goal is to improve the health status of the citizens in our community
The Unknown Dangers of Meningococcal Disease
Doris Bergerson, RN
Infection Control Nurse
As fall draws upon us, parents send their kids off to school. Whether to grade school or college most parents’ biggest fear is whether their child will make good grades and pass to the next level. However, there is a great danger out there for their children, Meningococcal disease or Meningitis.
Meningococcal disease is a rare but sometimes fatal disease that strikes adolescents and young adults. It progresses quickly and can have devastating complications, including hearing loss, brain damage, limb amputations and death. Meningitis is often misdiagnosed since the symptoms often resemble the flu. Symptoms may include sudden high fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting and exhaustion. Occasionally a rash develops after the disease has taken hold. Anyone can contract meningitis; however adolescents and young adults are at increased risk.
The disease is spread through the exchange of respiratory droplets or close contact with an infected person, such as kissing, coughing, sneezing, or even sharing a drink. Lifestyle factors thought to be linked to the disease include: crowded living situations, such as dormitories, boarding schools and sleep-away camps; active or passive smoking; and irregular sleep patterns.
Meningococcal disease can be treated. Once it is suspected or diagnosed, high doses of antibiotics are used to treat the patient. Early treatment is essential to reduce the risk of death, however, it does not guarantee full recovery. Antibiotics should also be administered to those in close contact with a person diagnosed with meningitis. However, the best way to help protect against meningococcal disease is immunization. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends routine meningococcal vaccination with the conjugate meningococcal vaccine for adolescents ages 11-18. A good time to discuss meningococcal vaccination is during the pre-adolescent doctor’s visit at 11-12 years of age. The vaccine is safe, however there can be minor reactions including pain and redness at the injection site, headache, fatigue or a vague feeling of discomfort. You can not get meningococcal disease from the vaccine, however immunization is not recommended for individuals with compromised immune system or has a history of Guillain-Barré syndrome. The vaccine is covered by most health insurance providers, or you can contact your local public health department to see if you qualify to receive the vaccine at no charge through programs such as Vaccines for Children.
Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory
Level IV Trauma Facility
Intensive Care Unit
Inpatient/Outpatient Surgical Services
Scenic Mountain Medical Center
1601 West Eleventh Place
Big Spring, TX 79720
Main Line: 432-263-1211
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