How Dangerous is Meningococcal Disease?

The Seriousness of Meningococcal Disease

Meningococcal disease is a very serious illness caused by a bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis.  It can lead to meningitis (infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord) and infections of the blood. Meningococcal disease usually occurs without warning – even among people who are otherwise healthy.

Meningococcal disease can spread from person to person through close contact (coughing or kissing) or lengthy contact, especially among people living in the same household or within a dormitory.

Anyone can get meningococcal disease but certain people are at increased risk, including:

  • Infants younger than one year old
  • Adolescents and young adults 16 through 23 years old
  • People with certain medical conditions that affect the immune system
  • Microbiologists who routinely work with isolates of N. meningitidis
  • People at risk because of an outbreak in their community

Even when it is treated, meningococcal disease kills 10 to 15 infected people out of 100.  And of those who survive, about 10 to 20 out of every 100 will suffer disabilities such as hearing loss, brain damage, kidney damage, amputations, nervous system problems, or severe scars from skin grafts.

CDC Guidelines Support MenB Vaccinations for 16-Year-Olds

Trumenba: Meningococcal Group B Vaccine

PSG Pharmacy offers the Trumenba Meningococcal Group B Vaccine.

  • Trumenba is a vaccine indicated for active immunization to prevent invasive disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B. Trumenba is approved for use in individuals 10 through 25 years of age.
  • The effectiveness of the two-dose schedule of Trumenba against diverse N meningitidis serogroup B stains has not been confirmed.
  • Please refer to IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION and additional information about Trumenba at trumenba.com or visit the PSG Pharmacy website at psgrx.net.

The 5 Most Common Fall Illnesses

With fall right around the corner, it’s important to keep an eye on the most prevalent illnesses that tend to pop up in fall and stick around through winter. Here are some of the most prevalent diseases during fall that you need to be mindful of:

1. Influenza
The seasonal flu is ALWAYS one of the most common fall illnesses. People spend more time together indoors which perpetuates the spread of the virus, and often the general population is unaware that number of influenza cases really start to ramp up in autumn. Providers should work with patients to communicate an understanding of just how important the flu shot really is. Friendly reminders using patient portals and other tools may be enough to boost vaccination rates, which can be effective in mitigating more serious treatment later on down the road.

Don’t let the flu get you down. Take preemptive measures to minimize your risk of getting sick!

2. Seasonal allergies and asthma
Pollen and other particulate matter can be pretty common in the fall. This can lead to seasonal allergies among patients, and in turn, colds, bronchitis and other ailments that could be caused by an initial runny nose or sore throat. Individuals living with asthma may also find that the conditions in fall lead to more frequent or severe attacks. These patients should be educated on the risks. For example, rain storms that may be common in autumn can encourage some plants to release more pollen, to the detriment of asthmatics and anyone suffering from seasonal allergies.

3. Arthritis pain
Though arthritis is not a common fall illness, the Arthritis Foundation reported that cooler temperatures can lead to greater joint pain. Weather changes in fall can also be rather volatile, and a drop in atmospheric pressure has been linked to greater discomfort among those living with arthritis. These changes may also cause sinus problems and migraines, according to the Arthritis Foundation.

4. Raynaud Syndrome and heart disease
Raynaud Syndrome is one of the most common fall illnesses, with the most common symptoms associated with this disease such as poor circulation, numbness and swelling. Cooler weather can affect blood flow, and it can be difficult for the body to adapt. Individuals living with heart disease may even experience more pain or difficulty during autumn for similar reasons, according to the American Heart Association. Providers should use EHRs and other tools to identify at-risk patients.

5. Seasonal Affective Disorder
This is a common illness that is brought on by shorter days and cooler weather. In many cases, depression can lead to problems sleeping and eating, and make a person more susceptible to illness. Providers should use engagement resources to encourage dialogue and understanding around SAD. Light therapy and other treatments are inexpensive ways for patients to minimize the effects of the disorder, keeping them out of the doctor’s office. A patient’s EHR may store information that allows a physician to make helpful reminders or suggestions in the early fall to mitigate any SAD symptoms.

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