In Focus:

How to Prevent Meningitis in Your Teen

Is Your Teen at Risk?

The bacteria and viruses that cause meningitis -- a disease that leads to inflammation in the brain and spinal cord --  spread quickly through dorms and classrooms. Teens can pass these germs by sharing personal items like glasses and utensils -- and by kissing. If you find out there's been a case of meningitis at your kid's school, keep calm. There are ways to prevent him from getting it.

Get Vaccinated

An easy way to prevent bacterial meningitis: Get a vaccine. There are different types. Kids usually get a shot of the meningococcal conjugate vaccine at age 11 or 12. Because protection fades with time, your teen needs a booster shot at 16 to cover him through college. Ask the doctor whether your child needs added protection from the meningococcal B vaccine, which he gets between 16 and 18.

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