C228 Community Health Task 2
Meningococcal disease is a disease that can be found worldwide. Meningococcal disease refers to any disease or illness that is caused by the type of bacteria called Neisseria meningitides, also called meningococcus (Meningococcal disease, 2015). The first documented outbreak was over two hundred years ago in Geneva in 1805 which circulated rapidly and killed thirty three people. The first case ever recorded in America was in 1806 in Medford, Massachusetts (Fredericks, n.d.). A European physician, Professor A Weichselbaum, discovered the cause of the mysterious cerebro-spinal meningitis illness in 1887 and Penicillin was the first antibiotic used to fight the disease. In 1978 the first…show more content… Treatment for infected people involve antibiotics, steroids, intensive care, and droplet precautions. Prophylactic antibiotics are usually given to prevent the spread of the disease to those in close contact of the infected people.
Africa has the highest incidence of meningococcal disease, tuberculosis, and malaria because of overcrowding in many villages. There is an area in sub-Saharan Africa called the Meningitis Belt that stretches from Senegal to Ethiopia with over 20,000 reported cases and 2,000 deaths every year (Healthgrades editorial staff, 2015). During the dry season in Africa, from December through June, meningitis epidemics occur with the three major areas infected being Burkina Faso, Nigeria, and Chad. The most recent outbreak of the meningococcal disease reported in the United States occurred as meningitis in the dorms at the University of California, Santa Barbara and Princeton University in New Jersey in December of 2013 (Doheny, 2013). When the outbreak occurred at these two universities it was caused from serotype B of the disease and resulted in one death. Since the current meningococcal vaccine does not cover the serotype B bacteria the FDA allowed the use of a special vaccine from New Zealand to treat the outbreaks (Burrell, 2015). One in five US teens have not had their first recommended dose of meningococcal vaccine and for those who have had the first dose of the vaccine,