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"Third Santa Clara University student comes down with meningococcal infection"

http://www.mercurynews.com/health/c...ms-argosy-university-employee-died-meningitis

Scrambling to contain a potentially deadly meningitis outbreak, public health officials said Thursday that a third Santa Clara University student has been infected with the bacteria that causes the disease.

The announcement came the same day that the Alameda County Public Health Department confirmed that an adult employee of Argosy University in Alameda died last week from meningitis.

Santa Clara County health officials said all three of the SCU students became ill on Sunday, and all three have been confirmed to have the serogroup B strain of the bacteria.
What a scary disease. The death rate is 10-15% even with the best treatment modern medicine can provide. According to the article, the line of students waiting to get the vaccine stretched across three football fields.

I'm glad the vaccine for the B strain is now available for adolescents in the US.
 

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This one scares me and I've always wondered why it's not routine in the us. When we moved to the U.K. this was the one "catchup shot" our eldest needed. And since we're around university students all the time I got it as soon as possible.
 
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That's what I wish they would give before 16. I don't know exactly what strain my friend had but she died in 7th grade right before the end of the school year. It killed her in less than 3 days. :-(
 
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If only there was an effective vaccine that could target all the possible and multiple mutations of the strains of meningitis. Alas, there isn't. Even within a strain there are submutations, so the vaccine for it is absolutely meaningless and ineffective. Darn!
 

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Yeah, if it doesn't protect 100% against any and all variations of a virus it's totally worthless! :eyesroll
 

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Here in B.C the Men C is given in infancy and again in grade 6. There isn't another one recommended unless you are eligible. There is also a quadrivalent vaccine which protects against A, C, W and W-135. Eligibility as adults for either of these vaccines includes having no spleen, immune system disorders, stem cell recipients, and those who have been in direct contact with the disease.

The B vaccine is available here under the same circumstances. It is currently not recommended for use on the current vaccine schedule and is not free unless you meet the above criteria.

If there is an outbreak, HealthBC offers free shots for those who are interested.

Meningitis certainly scares me. Thankfully we were able to purchase a homeopathic vaccine for our daughter. Her titers a few months later revealed excellent antibodies!

It's interesting to see the recommendations for different countries.
 

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If only there was an effective vaccine that could target all the possible and multiple mutations of the strains of meningitis. Alas, there isn't. Even within a strain there are submutations, so the vaccine for it is absolutely meaningless and ineffective. Darn!
Meningitis isn't exactly an infectious disease as such. Many of the "causes" are common bacteria or viruses carried by healthy human beings without any problems. Only if the bug (whichever variety it may be) gets into the meninges, which are membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord do we see illness. Not all varieties are life-threatening. Viral meningitis is unpleasant but hardly ever dangerous, for example.

This is why it is a challenging illness to prevent with a vaccine. You get rid of 5 or 6 varieties and something else will pop up and become invasive in a few people. Many of the varieties are quite rare, so developing and deploying a vaccine is a very expensive undertaking to save a relatively small number of lives. Since public health funds are not unlimited, there are hard choices to be made and the wrong choice can end up with more dead bodies and more illness.

I keep wondering about researching the risk factors for invasive disease--because getting rid of a particular bug doesn't get rid of the tendency in some people to be vulnerable to whatever bug is going around getting in where it shouldn't be. Sort of like the way they figured out that autism rates increase in families that are overweight or the equivalent. I doubt if this is totally random bad luck...
 

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What I find disturbing is how many stories there are of people seeking help at the doctor's office or hospital and being misdiagnosed and sent home. I think both doctors/medical personnel and the public need to be educated on recognizing the signs. These stories about misdiagnosis are what came up on the first couple pages of a search.


Team GB triathlete Ellie Penrose died after her meningitis was misdiagnosed as stomach pains, inquest hears
http://www.independent.co.uk/life-s...sed-her-meningitis-and-sent-her-a6856381.html

Doctors misdiagnose little boy's meningitis twice; results are devastating
http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/1092399/doctors-misdiagnose-boy-meningitis

'Please help me', 10-year-old meningitis sufferer begged hospital staff
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/hea...eningitis-sufferer-begged-hospital-staff.html

Fiver-year-old girl died of meningitis after doctors ‘misdiagnosed symptoms as stomach bug’
http://swns.com/news/fiver-year-old...tors-misdiagnosed-symptoms-stomach-bug-33707/

Mother says ER misdiagnosis leads to son's death
http://www.wsoctv.com/news/news/local/mother-says-er-misdiagnosis-leads-sons-death/nb2zw/

Man with viral meningitis misdiagnosed and sent home from Royal North Shore Hospital
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/ne...h-shore-hospital/story-fngr8h9d-1226628626096

Deafness and brain damage after boy's misdiagnosed meningitis
https://www.leighday.co.uk/News/2010/July-2010/Deafness-and-brain-damage-after-boy-s-misdiagnosed

Omaha Woman Lucky To Be Alive After Meningitis Misdiagnosis
http://www.wowt.com/home/headlines/...er_Mis-Diagnosis_of_Meningitis_126742548.html

Meningitis baby misdiagnosed
http://www.theherald.com.au/story/1320915/meningitis-baby-misdiagnosed/

Parents whose son nearly died after meningitis misdiagnosis setting up charity shop to help fight disease
http://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/news...etting_up_charity_shop_to_help_fight_disease/

https://www.meningitisnow.org/support-us/news-centre/meningitis-stories/lily-hs-story/
https://www.meningitisnow.org/support-us/news-centre/meningitis-stories/fayes-story/
 

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It's hard to wish doctors saw such diseases more frequently though. They might diagnose quicker if they weren't so rare....
 

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It's hard to wish doctors saw such diseases more frequently though. .
I think the issue is that doctors do not always take patient complaints of serious pain and the like seriously.
 

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I think the issue is that doctors do not always take patient complaints of serious pain and the like seriously.
Yes, a friend of mine had severe headaches for months before she got a referral to a specialist who did a proper exam and discovered that she had a neck injury from a car trunk hitting her head. Her regular doctor thought she was just an overweight middle-aged menopausal woman who was whining. Good thing she didn't have a tumor...she just suffered months of unnecessary pain.

There are a lot of uncommon illnesses. Doctors still need to know how to diagnose them.

On the one hand, we are told that doctors are authorities with years of training and experience. We should trust them.

On the other hand, we are told we should forgive them for making fatal errors. Because...the patient was really ill to begin with...the condition is rare and unusual...it is a tough diagnosis...anyone can miss a clue...doctors don't have enough time (this one is a real problem), etc.
 

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It's hard to wish doctors saw such diseases more frequently though. They might diagnose quicker if they weren't so rare....
Who is wishing for that? Who is asking you to wish for it?

They aren't going to make a vaccine for all these "rare" strains of meningitis so it is important for doctors to let go of the ego a little and entertain the possibility that they might not know exactly what is the causing the symptoms and test accordingly, as well as seek other opinions from their colleagues/supervisors.
 

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It's hard to wish doctors saw such diseases more frequently though. They might diagnose quicker if they weren't so rare....
Does anybody have annual data on bacterial meningitis cases broken down by strain? I'd be curious how much bacterial meningitis we're seeing, vaccine-targeted and not, in the pre-vaccine versus modern era. I was honestly on the fence about whether or not to give my kids these vaccines and am curious about the impact of serotype replacement.

I hate to sound harsh, but doctors ARE responsible for learning about rare diseases and being able to diagnose them or consult with somebody who can. It could mean life and death in an emergency situation that's dismissed as a benign stomach ache. Meningitis is rare, but so are a lot of other conditions that bring people to the ER.

My concern is the possibility of vaccine-induced apathy, i.e. if they're vaccinated, there's no way they could have a vaccine-targeted or replacement-serotype illness, right? :scratch
 

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One hopes that doctors don't really behave this way--but this seems to be an authoritative source: http://www.voicesforvaccines.org/the-consequences-of-refusing-vaccines/

For children who are fully vaccinated and over six months of age, I search for a source of the infection based on their symptoms; if they are coughing or have other signs of a respiratory infection, the child gets a chest x-ray. Young girls and uncircumcised males are at higher risk for bladder infections, so we usually do a urine test. If those are all negative, we usually send the child home with no medications and the expectation that the fever is caused by a virus and will soon go away.
Unvaccinated children, however, require much more testing. Most practice guidelines recommend multiple blood tests, which require an IV, urine testing, a chest x-ray, and, depending on the child’s age and other risk factors, possibly a lumbar puncture (a.k.a. spinal tap).
This approach pretty much guarantees that unvaxed children will receive unnecessary testing and vaccinated children won't get tests that they should get.

Yes, the unvaccinated child has some additional risk for a few things, but vaccinated children aren't at zero risk for invasive bacterial disease, so skipping a test or two could be fatal. It certainly is careless in both directions and a cop-out.

I'm hoping that this is all just scaremongering and that all medical personnel are properly conscientious no matter what the vaccine status of any individual...
 

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So glad there is a vaccine available for this disease! Such a "terrific accomplishment"!

But, it does not work. I guess the three are part of the post marketing surveillance. I do not believe that those students reportedly lining up on the football field for the magical cure have been fully informed about the vaccine status of the three afflicted students. That might thin out the crowd a bit.

The vaccine was developed in a new way, a “terrific accomplishment” technologically, Meissner said. But because of the shortened approval process, much is not known about it ... Bexsero and a second vaccine, Trumenba, cover most — but not all — strains of bacteria within the serogroup B.
We know now it is not very effective.

http://ww2.kqed.org/stateofhealth/2...with-meningitis-was-vaccinated-what-happened/
 
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More on these vaccines and the risk/benefit ratios.

http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/doing-math-meningitis-vaccinations

According to their package inserts, Menactra and Menveo produce "serious adverse events" in 1 percent of recipients. Menomune, with its hefty mercury load, sickens 1.3 percent of those receiving it. According to the CDC Pink Book, 0.3 percent of those with "serious adverse events" from meningitis vaccines will die. So here is the math calculation that thoughtful student governments in Colorado must consider: If you inoculate Colorado's 400,000 college students with the older vaccines, you can expect 4,000 serious adverse events and 12 dead. We do not yet know the effects of widespread vaccination of the hastily-expedited B vaccines, but according to their package inserts, about 2 percent of students who receive the B vaccine will be sickened or hospitalized with a serious adverse event. This could translate into an additional 8,000 sick students and 24 deaths, for a total of 12,000 sick and 36 dead in the attempt to possibly avert three meningitis cases.
The budgetary issues are significant. Administering Bexsero will cost an estimated $320 per student according to the CDC vaccine price list. For Colorado's 400,000 students, the cost for the B vaccine alone would be $128 million annually.
 
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