How to prevent meningitis?
Because meningitis is due to infection, it may be prevented by avoiding the infection. Minimizing contact with others who have any of the viral illness listed above may reduce the chances of becoming infected. Most infections are spread by hand-to-hand or hand-to-mouth contact; frequent hand washing may reduce the likelihood of infection if contact cannot be
Mosquito-borne viruses may be avoided by preventing mosquito bites. Mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk, and are most common in moist areas with standing water. Minimizing exposed skin and use of mosquito repellents on other areas can reduce the chances of being bitten.
In children, bacterial meningitis most commonly is caused by three types of bacteria: Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae or Neisseria meningitidis. Vaccines to protect against S. pneumoniae and H. influenzae type b (Hib) are available and have dramatically reduced the number of meningitis cases caused by these bacteria. A vaccine against N. meningitidis is available, but it has not been shown to be effective in children younger than 2 years.
College students overall have a lower rate of bacterial meningitis than people of similar ages who are not in college. However, freshmen living in dormitories have higher rates. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends that college students be vaccinated against N. meningitidis. This vaccine also may be useful for travelers to countries that experience meningitis outbreaks.