Because of the brave and caring work of two meningitis survivors – a young woman who deals with multiple amputations from her illness, and the father of a young man who died of the disease – Texas now has protective laws requiring vaccination against meningococcal disease before students enter college.
We honor their work today, on World Meningitis Day.
Jamie Schanbaum has become a hard-working advocate for meningitis vaccination after her experience.
Greg Williams, who lost his son Nicolis to the extremely swift-moving, highly dangerous illness, not only worked to pass the law along with Schanbaum, but he has formed a nonprofit to spread word about meningitis and the importance of vaccination. Last year, he also published a book about his experience.
Along with Schanbaum’s mother Patsy Schanbaum, who also has become an advocate for meningitis vaccination and the head of a related nonprofit organization, they published an op-ed just last December in the Dallas Morning News about the topic.
Here are the basic facts about meningitis that the organizers of World Meningitis Day have provided:
-- Meningitis is the inflammation of the membranes that protect the brain and spinal cord.
-- Meningitis affects more than 2.8 million people from all over the world each year.
-- 1 in 5 bacterial meningitis survivors develop one or more after effects.
-- Even with fast diagnosis and treatment, up to 20% of bacterial meningitis patients will die.
-- Meningitis can kill in 24 hours: seek urgent medical attention if you suspect the signs or symptoms.
-- Anyone of any age can be affected by meningitis; infants, adolescents and older people are at greatest risk.
Learn the details of what you need to know about meningitis and its prevention through vaccines here.