There are two types of meningitis infection, viral and bacterial. The viral infection is not particularly serious and is usually self-limiting. The bacterial version is quite a different story. Although uncommon — due largely to the 1999 approval of a vaccine for children aged 11–18 years — bacterial meningitis is very dangerous: It has a 15 percent mortality rate, and approximately another 15 percent of those who contract it will suffer severe, long-term neurological damage, such as loss of hearing, seizures, and strokes.
Fortunately, recent research in this area has resulted in the approval of one vaccine for children as young as nine months of age — and another vaccine that could be used for children as young as two months is under FDA review. This is good news.
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