Meningococcal and HPV Notice

As of July 2005, schools in Washington are required to make information available on Meningococcal diseases and reducing your student’s risk of contracting HPV to parents or guardians of all students entering Grades 6-12.

Meningococcal Disease and Prevention

Meningococcal disease is a serious bacterial infection.  Fortunately, this life-threatening illness is rare, with only 20-50 cases reported each year in Washington. Symptoms of the disease may include fever, cough, rash, and headaches.  It can cause meningitis (swelling of the covering of the brain and spinal cord). The disease spreads through close contact with an infected person.  Teen and young adults are more likely to get meningococcal disease, especially if they live in group setting like college dorms.

How to protect your child from meningococcal disease:

The meningococcal vaccine, or MCV4, prevents against four types of the disease.  It is recommended to all children between 11 and 12 years of age, and again at 16 to 18 years of age. This meningococcal vaccine is not required for school attendance.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Prevention

HPV is a common virus.  Most people exposed to HPV will never develop health issues.  But for others, HPV causes major health problems including cervical, anal, vulvar, mouth and throat cancer.  Most infected people have no symptoms and may spread the virus without knowing it.  HPV spreads mainly through sexual contact.

How to protect your child from HPV:

Make sure your child gets the HPV vaccine.  The vaccine is highly effective.  The best time to get it is before sexual activity ever starts.  The HPV vaccine can prevent infection from some of the most common and serious types of HPV that cause cancer and genital warts.  The vaccine does not get rid of existing infections.  Three doses of HPV vaccine are recommended for all boys and girls starting at ages 11 to 12.  It is recommended for females up to age 26 and men up to age 21. The HPV vaccine is not required for school attendance in Washington.


Where to find Meningococcal and HPV vaccine:

Ask your doctor or nurse, or call Kitsap Public Health District, 360-337-5235


For more information on meningococcal disease, HPV, vaccines, and cervical cancer:

· Washington State Department of Health


· Centers for Disease Control & Prevention


· Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Vaccine Education Center


· American Cancer Society

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