Make Sure Your Teen Knows About Meningitis

Encourage Healthy Habits

Here are a few healthy habits that can help prevent meningitis:

  • Avoid sharing glasses, eating utensils, and toothbrushes–anything that someone has put in or near their mouth.1-3
  • Get enough sleep. Being tired or having irregular sleep patterns can weaken the immune system, which may make a teen more prone to meningitis.3-5
  • Stay away from smoke and smoking. Studies have shown that smoking or being around secondhand smoke can increase a teen’s chances of catching meningitis.5,6

Next: Educational Resources

References:

  1. Apicella MA. Neisseria meningitidis. In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett’s Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2010;2737-2752.
  2. Atkinson W, Wolfe S, Hamborsky J, McIntyre L, eds. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (The Pink Book). 12th ed. Washington DC: Public Health Foundation; 2011.
  3. Tunkel AR, van de Beek D, Scheld MW. Acute meningitis. In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett’s Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2010;1189-1229.
  4. Imeri L, Opp MR. How (and why) the immune system makes us sleep. Nat Rev Neurosci. 2009;10(3):199-210.
  5. MacLennan J, Kafatos G, Neal K, et al; United Kingdom Meningococcal Carriage Group. Social behavior and meningococcal carriage in British teenagers. Emerg Infect Dis. 2006;12(6):950-957.
  6. Bruce MG, Rosenstein NE, Capparella JM, Shutt KA, Perkins BA, Collins M. Risk factors for meningococcal disease in college students. JAMA. 2001;286(6):688-693.