“Vaccinate before you graduate”. It’s an urgent message from a Michigan Mom whose daughter passed away from Meningitis B during her sophomore year of college.
Meningitis B accounts for nearly 50 percent of all meningitis cases in students between 17 and 22 years of age according to the CDC.
Alicia Stillman, the mother of 19-year old Kalamazoo College sophomore Emily Stillman who died in 2013, urged parents and young people who are about to graduate to make sure they are protected against Meningitis B by getting another vaccination.
Meningitis B is spread through saliva and nose secretions — so in communal settings –like dorms–it can be spread very easily.
Stillman says the only symptom her daughter had when she walked into the hospital was a bad headache. By the time she arrived at the hospital her daughter was in a coma.
“She never woke up.” explained Alicia Stillman. “The swelling never went down, within thirty hours of the onset of a headache , a simple headache, my daughter was brain dead. We can encourage all young people and their parents to vaccinate before you graduate to protect your family . My family changed forever on that day, your does not have to.”
Symptoms of meningitis can include fever, nausea and vomiting and a severe headache. Again the most common vaccine given to teens in the US protects against four different types of meningitis, but another vaccine is needed for protection against Meningitis B.