Meningitis: What Parents Need To Know

July 14, 2017

The Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed a camper at an overnight camp passed away from a Neisseria Meningitidis infection.

The Health Department is directly involved and has contacted anyone who should receive prophylactic antibiotic due to increased risk from direct contact. The Health Department is very involved and we recommend following their recommendation.

The incubation period of meningitis is three to four days, with a range of two to 10 days. People spread meningococcal bacteria to other people by sharing respiratory and throat secretions (saliva or spit). Generally, it takes close (for example, coughing or kissing) or lengthy contact to spread these bacteria. Fortunately, they are not as contagious as germs that cause the common cold or the flu. The bacteria does not survive long outside the human body, and cannot be spread from touching contaminated surfaces.  Symptoms include fever, headache, neck stiffness, vomiting, lethargy.

The best advice is to get vaccinated. Children are routinely vaccinated against Neisseria Meningitidis at 11 and 16 years of age with New York State requiring vaccination for children entering 7th or 12th grade.  Sleepaway camp is not considered an indication for early vaccination, but early vaccination is allowed.  Your pediatrician is a great source of vaccine information.

To understand more about the illness, please click on this link from the Center for Disease Control.

By: Dr. Eric Levene (Chester Pediatrics, Whiteplains, NY), Dr. Kerry Fierstein (Pediatrics Health Associates, Plainview, NY), Dr. Jennifer Shaer (Peconic Pediatrics, Riverhead & Southold, NY)

Allied Physicians Group is a partnership of more than 150 dedicated, caring physicians and 350 highly trained support staff. Allied serves over 180,000 patients with offices throughout Greater New York City, Long Island, the Hudson Valley, and beyond. Founded in 2006, Allied Physicians Group is a recognized leader in increasing healthcare efficiencies and patient satisfaction, emphasizing support, innovation, and collaboration. If you are looking for a Pediatrician near you click here or for more information please visit