For Immediate Release
Barbara Hersh, 785-368-8053
TOPEKA, Kan. – Kansas Senator Vicki Schmidt recently sponsored a resolution declaring April 16-20 as Kansas Meningitis Awareness Week and has asked the Senate to encourage Kansans to help eradicate bacterial meningitis through public education about the vaccine. The Meningitis Angels, a national organization dedicated to bringing awareness about this preventable and sometimes deadly infection, will be in Topeka to lead and participate in various events. This group will be presented a copy of the Resolution.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s Immunization Program will assist Meningitis Angels founder Frankie Milley and her team throughout the week with numerous school assemblies, health fairs and presentations for health care officials. In addition, Dillons’ pharmacies will be handing out educational material with each prescription picked up at all 55 stores statewide during the week. The schedule of the week’s events are attached.
For the past five years, Kansas has had a total of 44 cases of Meningococcemia: 10 cases in 2007; 7 cases in 2008; 14 cases in 2009; 8 cases in 2010; and 5 cases in 2011. So far this year Kansas has had four cases. From 2007-2011 the age of the cases ranged from 2 months to 94 years (median is 47 years). There have been five deaths due to bacterial meningitis in Kansas since 2007.
For more information on the Meningitis Angels, go to www.meningitis-angels.org.
For information on Meningococcal vaccines go to: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/vis/downloads/vis-mening.pdf
Enclosed is the Kansas Meningitis Awareness Week resolution.