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School Nurses Recommend Kids Get Meningitis Vaccine

With classes getting underway around California, school nurses are urging parents to vaccinate their children against meningitis.

Barbara Miller is President of the California School Nurses Organization. She says the disease has symptoms similar to the flu. "The difference is you can go from being just mildly sick to dead within 24 hours. It just attacks your body that quickly.

The recommended vaccine protects against the deadly bacterial form of meningitis. Miller says it’s spread through close contact. That means sharing drinks, kissing, sharing lipstick, and living closely together in dorm rooms.

There are no laws requiring the vaccine, but it is strongly recommended, especially for pre-teens and teens. Miller says less than half of California’s 13 to 17-year-olds are vaccinated.

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