Olympic swimmer Dara Torres urges meningitis vaccinations for kids

June 24, 2013

in Health

If you have been around for a while, you know that Big Brother had a scary case of bacterial meningitis. This past week I had the opportunity to interview Dara Torres, Dara Torres, 12-time Olympic medal swimmer, New York Times best-selling author and mother of three, about meningococcal meningitis, and the vaccine that is available.

According to the CDC there are about 1000 cases annually in the United States during 2005-2010. 10%-14% of cases are fatal. Of patients who recover 11%-19% have permanent hearing loss, mental retardation, loss of limbs, or other serious problems.

Meningococcal meningitis starts with flu-like symptoms, but progresses quickly and can be fatal within just a few hours.

Dara Torres is a spokesperson for Get in the Game, sponsored by Voices of Meningitis. Because of the way the bacterial is spread, young athletes are at a higher risk of contracting the disesase, as are members of the military and students living in college dorms.

I asked Dara what her best advice was for recognizing the symptoms and getting help early. She responded not to wait until it got to that point. Get the vaccine. She recommended getting the vaccine as 11-12 years old with a booster at 16. If you have a child that is headed to college this fall, get the vaccine. If your child has enlisted, get the vaccine. In fact, if your child has any contact with other human beings, get the vaccine. Don't wait until it's too late.

After talking with Dara I know I will be getting my boys vaccinated since they love playing sports. I would have them vaccinated even if they didn't.

Dara Torres



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Lindsey Renuard is a blogger, YouTube beauty expert, and the Managing Editor of the Skiatook Journal.

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