Caring for Kids…at Billings Clinic

Meningitis vaccine for teens

Your Health: Teen meningitis vaccine recommended

By Mary Beth Dickson, Reporter, Weekend Anchor KULR-8 News

BILLINGS – If you have a teenager, the CDC is recommending a vaccine booster shot for teen meningitis.

Dr. Michelle Pierson, Department Chair of Pediatrics at Billings Clinic recommends a vaccine for every 16-year-old.  “This meningitis is also common in babies, but it’s this teenage group that has the horrible outcome from it.  And, typically it leads to low vascular output.  They lose fingers and toes. It’s a horrible meningitis and they’re really sick usually in the ICU,” Pierson said.  “It’s rare but when this meningitis happens, it’s pretty horrible for this age group so that’s why we vaccinate.”

Meningitis is inflammation of membranes around the brain and spinal cord.  Most cases are caused by viruses or bacteria and some cases happen after head injuries, certain cancers or reactions to medications.  Dr. Pierson said some of the symptoms of both viral and bacterial meningitis are fever, stiff neck, severe headache, eye sensitivity to light, nausea and extreme sleepiness.

Watch the full story here.

For more information about getting your teen vaccinated click here.

Michelle Pierson, MD

Hi! My name is Michelle Pierson and I am a wife, mom, and general pediatrician at the Billings Clinic. I am excited about this blog and the opportunity to reach out to parents in my hometown of Billings. Growing up here and raising my own kiddos in this community gives me some perspective on how we can take care of our children's health with the resources we have in the region. I get great joy from my family and job, and a good piece of chocolate cake! A good book and "cuddle time" with my kids on the couch rank up there pretty high too.

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