DENVER, June 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — The Colorado Association
of School Nurses (CASN) has joined with the Colorado Department of
Public Health and Environment, among other local organizations, on
the Denver Voices of
Meningitis campaign to help educate parents of
preteens and teens about the dangers of meningitis and importance
of vaccination. Meningococcal disease is a rare, but serious
bacterial infection that can cause meningitis and kill an otherwise
healthy young person in just a single day.
In Colorado, approximately 54 percent of adolescents have been
vaccinated against meningococcal disease, far below the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) goal of an 80 percent
vaccination rate. In the United States, about 10 percent of
the 1,000 to 2,600 Americans who get meningococcal disease each
year will die. For survivors, one in five is left with
serious medical problems, such as amputation of limbs, brain
damage, deafness and organ damage.
“Although vaccination rates have improved, too many adolescents
still have not been immunized, leaving them at risk for this often
devastating disease,” said Amy Asher, RN, member of CASN.
“We, the ‘voices’ of meningitis, are calling
on all Denver parents to vaccinate their children and ‘Pass the
Voice’ to anyone who will listen. We owe it to our children
to help protect them from potentially harmful diseases.”
Preteens and teens are at greater risk for meningitis and public
health officials recommend meningococcal vaccination.
Activities common among Denver adolescents, such as kissing,
spending long periods of time with large groups and sharing water
bottles or drinking glasses can increase their risk for contracting
Denver resident Donna Sentel knows firsthand how dangerous
meningitis can be. Donna lost her daughter Elizabeth to