Talking to your doctor about Childhood Vaccines
A majority of mothers admit they know very little about bacterial meningitis — a potentially deadly disease.
In an Ipsos survey of 400 Canadian mothers, 88% admitted not being knowledgeable about bacterial meningitis. As well, the majority said they don't know what strains are included in current vaccines.
The online survey of members of the Ipsos I-Say panel was conducted Oct. 11-17 and released in time for World Meningitis Day, which is Tuesday.
Parenting expert Alyson Schafer said it's important for parents to learn more about bacterial meningitis.
Bacterial meningitis symptoms mimic those of the flu, including fever, nausea, muscle aches and pale skin. But unlike the flu, those who contract bacterial meningitis — particularly children — can die within a few hours.
Schafer said she thought she understood all the risks, but even she had a lot to learn about bacterial meningitis. She said after discovering she knew very little about the illness, she wanted to encourage other parents to do their research.
"I think they think they know everything they need to know," she said.
"If you're like me, you might be thinking you're covered and you're not. We need to educate ourselves."
There are approximately 1,000 bacterial meningitis cases a year in Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada said in a 2005 report. In 2000-2001, there were 1,039 cases in Canada, resulting in 117 deaths — 25% of which occurred within 48 hours of hospitalization. The highest number of cases were in infants under a year old.
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