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Approximately three million Texans  – 10.63% of the state population – use illegal drugs and another one million – 3.62% of the state population – abuse alcohol in a given year. As a consequence, nearly 14% of all deaths in Texas between 2008 and 2017 were caused by drugs and alcohol, a full percentage point above the national average for drug- and alcohol-induced deaths. Among the top five most populous cities in Texas, Austin had the highest rate of drug- and alcohol-related deaths during that time period at 17%, while El Paso had the lowest rate at 11.09%.

This guide was created to help the many residents of Texas who are struggling with substance abuse addiction to find affordable treatment that will put them on the path to recovery. It is also intended to inform the general public about the dangers of substance abuse in Texas.

If you need help finding a rehabilitation center in Texas, you can use our directory to locate low-cost, quality treatment right away. Read on to find instructions for using the directory and to learn which rehabs qualify as the highest-rated, low-cost facilities in the state.

Approximately three million Texans  – 10.63% of the state population – use illegal drugs and another one million – 3.62% of the  

Meningitis Information for Students & Parents

 

New Requirement for School Districts to Provide Bacterial Meningitis Information to Students and Parents

 

Download this information as a .pdf.

In the 86th Legislature, HB 3884 required DSHS to create procedures for

school districts to provide information relating to bacterial meningitis to students

and parents. DSHS shall prescribe the form and content of the information.

School districts should provide the information below on the district website or provide a

link to this page on the district website. For school districts that do not maintain a website,

the information should be provided in hard copy to each student.

WHAT IS MENINGITIS?

 

Meningitis is an inflammation of the covering of the brain and spinal cord.  It can be caused

by viruses, parasites, fungi, and bacteria. Viral meningitis is most common and the least serious.

Meningitis caused by bacteria is the most likely form of the disease to cause serious,

long-term complications. It is an uncommon disease but requires urgent treatment with

antibiotics to prevent permanent damage or death.

 

Bacterial meningitis can be caused by multiple organisms.Two common types are 

Streptococcus pneumoniae, with over 80 serogroups that can cause illness, and 

Neisseria meningitidis, with 5 serogroups that most commonly cause meningitis.

 

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

 

Someone with bacterial meningitis will become very ill. The illness may develop over

one or two days, but it can also rapidly progress in a matter of hours. Not everyone

with meningitis will have the same symptoms.

 

Children (over 1 year old) and adults with meningitis may have a severe headache, high

temperature, vomiting, sensitivity to bright lights, neck stiffness, and drowsiness or confusion.

In both children and adults, there may be a rash of tiny, red-purple spots. These can

occur anywhere on the body.

 

The diagnosis of bacterial meningitis is based on a combination of symptoms and laboratory results.

 

HOW SERIOUS IS BACTERIAL MENINGITIS?

 

If it is diagnosed early and treated promptly, most people make a complete recovery.

If left untreated or treatment is delayed, bacterial meningitis can be fatal, or a person may

be left with permanent disability.

 

HOW IS BACTERIAL MENINGITIS SPREAD?

 

Fortunately, none of the bacteria that cause meningitis are as contagious as diseases

like the common cold or the flu, and they are not spread by simply breathing the air where

a person with meningitis has been. The germs live naturally in the back of our noses and

throats, but they do not live for long outside the body. They are spread when people exchange

saliva (such as by kissing; sharing drinking containers, utensils, or cigarettes) or when people

cough or sneeze without covering their mouth and nose.

 

The bacteria do not cause meningitis in most people. Instead, most people become carriers

of the bacteria for days, weeks or even months. The bacteria rarely overcome the body's

immune system and cause meningitis or another serious illness.

 

HOW CAN BACTERIAL MENINGITIS BE PREVENTED?

 

Vaccination

 

Bacterial meningitis caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae and Neisseria meningitidis 

may be prevented through vaccination. The vaccine which protects against 

Streptococcus pneumoniae is called pneumococcal conjugate vaccine or PCV.

This vaccine is recommended by the Advisory Council on Immunization Practices

(ACIP) for children in the first year of life. Neisseria meningitidis is prevented through

two types of vaccines. The first is a meningococcal conjugate vaccine which

protects against 4 serogroups A, C, W, and Y and is referred to as MCV4. The second

is a vaccine against Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B and is referred to as MenB.

 

The ACIP recommends MCV4 for children at age 11-12 years, with a booster dose at 16-18 years.

In Texas, one dose of MCV4 given at or after age 11 years is required for children in

7th-12th grades. One dose of MCV4 received in the previous five years is required in

Texas for those under the age of 22 years and enrolling in college. Teens and young adults

(16-23 years of age) may be vaccinated with MenB. This vaccine is not required for school or

college enrollment in Texas. 

 

Vaccines to protect against bacterial meningitis are safe and effective. Common side effects

include redness and pain at the injection site lasting up to two days. Immunity develops about

1-2 weeks after the vaccines are given and lasts for 5 years to life depending on vaccine. 

 

Healthy habits

 

Do not share food, drinks, utensils, toothbrushes, or cigarettes. Wash your hands. Limit the number

of persons you kiss. Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough. Maintaining

healthy habits, like getting plenty of rest and not having close contact with people who are sick, also helps.

 

WHO IS AT RISK FOR BACTERIAL MENINGITIS?

 

Certain groups are at increased risk for bacterial meningitis caused by Neisseria meningitidis.

These risk factors include HIV infection, travel to places where meningococcal disease is common

(such as certain countries in Africa and in Saudi Arabia), and college students living in a dormitory.

Other risk factors include having a previous viral infection, living in a crowded household, or having an underlying chronic illness.

 

Children ages 11-15 years have the second highest rate of death from bacterial meningitis caused

by Neisseria meningitidis. And children ages 16-23 years also have the second highest rates

of disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis.

 

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO IF YOU THINK YOU OR A FRIEND MIGHT HAVE BACTERIAL MENINGITIS?

 

Seek prompt medical attention.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION

 

Your school nurse, family doctor, and the staff at your local or regional health department

office are excellent sources for information on all infectious diseases. You may call your family

doctor or local health department office to ask about meningococcal vaccine.  Additional

information may also be found at the web sites for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/meningitis/index.html and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS): https://www.dshs.texas.gov/immunize/PreteenVaccines.aspx 

or https://dshs.texas.gov/IDCU/disease/meningitis/Meningitis.aspx