State's First Lady Educating Public on Deadly Disease

First Lady Mary Easley hopes to educate residents in our state about the dangers of Meningococcal Meningitis. Easley is heading up a public awareness campaign which recently kicked off in North Carolina.

The campaign aims to educate high school students and their parents about the disease and encourage students to receive the vaccine to protect themselves against it.

So what is Meningococcal Meningitis? It's a potentially fatal bacterial infection which strikes nearly 3,000 Americans each and every year. The disease is contagious and is transmitted through the air and direct contact with infected persons (e.g., coughing, kissing or sharing utensils, drinking glasses, cigarettes, etc.).

If not treated, the disease can progress rapidly, often within hours of the first symptoms, and can lead to shock, hearing loss, brain damage, kidney disease, limb amputations or death. The vaccination against the disease is a covered benefit, paid for by most insurance companies and Medicaid.