Southeastern Utah District Health Department has a limited amount of meningococcal vaccine available free of charge. Dottie Flemett, Nursing Director for SEUDHD was instrumental in obtaining the vaccine through a special project grant.
"We will have free vaccine through May 9", states Flemett, "after that it will still be available at a cost of $93."
Meningococcal meningitis is a serious illness caused by bacteria. It is often misdiagnosed because its early signs are much like those of the flu or migraines. Symptoms may include high fever, headache, stiff neck, confusion, nausea, vomiting and exhaustion.
The disease is spread through air droplets and direct contact with someone who's infected. That includes: coughing, kissing, and sharing cups, lip balm, cigarettes, utensils-anything an infected person touches with his or her mouth.
Flemett states college students are at special risk. Freshmen living in dormitories are up to six times more likely to get the disease than other people.
Flemett also said, "The disease can be treated, but still about one out of every 10 people who get the disease dies from it, and many are affected for life."
The vaccine is recommended for individuals 11 through 55 years of age. Besides college freshmen, missionaries and military recruits should also consider getting the vaccine.
Parents and students should learn more about meningococcal meningitis and consider getting immunized. For more information contact your local health department at 435-637-3671.
Ferron, April 3, 4:30 p.m. at Mayor's Park.
Castle Dale, April 4, 5 p.m. at Cheddar Field.
Orangeville, April 4, preschool children at 12:30 p.m. All others throughout the day, at Cottonwood Elementary.
Huntington, April 4, 1 p.m. at the complex.