Meningococcal disease is a bacterial infection in the fluid within the brain and spinal cord that usually affects children younger than five years of age. However, in recent years rates have been rising significantly in teens in the U.S. and Britain.
A study of risk factors in teens found that intimate kissing with multiple partners was a strong risk factor, increasing risk by 3.7 times. Interestingly, factors that predicted a low risk were being vaccinated against the disease (decreased risk by 88%) and attending religious services (decreased risk by 90%). This obviously indicates that changing personal behaviors can significantly reduce the risk of this serious illness in teens as well as getting the immunization.
Reference: BMJ 2006; 332-445-450. Feb 25, 2006 Respond to this article ______________________________