Senator ELLEN KARCHER
District 12 (Mercer and Monmouth)
Senator ROBERT J. MARTIN
District 26 (Morris and Passaic)
Designates August of each year as “Meningitis Awareness Month.”
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
A Joint Resolution designating August of each year as “Meningitis Awareness Month.”
Whereas, Meningitis is an infection of the fluid that surrounds the spinal cord and the brain, the most common forms of which are bacterial meningitis and viral meningitis; and
Whereas, Bacterial meningitis is one of the most deadly and least understood infections in the United States, is highly contagious, and can be spread through close contact with others; viral meningitis is the more common type of meningitis and, although rarely life-threatening, can severely weaken a person; and
Whereas, If diagnosed quickly and treated promptly, most people with bacterial meningitis make a full recovery; however, without proper treatment, bacterial meningitis can be fatal, sometimes within hours, or lead to permanent handicaps such as deafness, paralysis, or brain damage; and
Whereas, Meningitis occurs more frequently among children under five years of age; however, in recent years, a number of outbreaks have occurred among students at schools and institutions of higher education; and
Whereas, The public should be aware of the symptoms of bacterial meningitis, particularly in newborns and children but also in adults, which include fever, a stiff neck, an aching back, and sometimes nausea; since the symptoms of viral meningitis are the same as bacterial meningitis, it is most important that individuals seek medical attention quickly when they experience those symptoms; and
Whereas, There are effective vaccines against certain strains of meningitis; and health care providers should be encouraged to inform adolescents and parents, particularly those of young people, about the option of being vaccinated against meningitis; and
Whereas, This Legislature has taken action to promote public awareness of meningitis and enhance public protection through enactments to: require the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services to establish a public awareness campaign to inform the general public about its clinical significance and public health implications; ensure that vaccinations are provided to new residential students at four-year institutions of higher education in the State, as well as information about meningitis and the vaccination requirement to all prospective students; and direct the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services to develop an educational fact sheet for distribution to parents or guardians of students in grades 6 through 12; and
Whereas, Further action is needed to promote public awareness of this disease, and thereby foster greater understanding of its symptoms, potential effects, and preventive measures; now, therefore,
Be It Resolved by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. August of each year is designated as "Meningitis Awareness Month" in the State of New Jersey in order to enhance public awareness and understanding of meningitis.
2. The Governor is hereby requested to issue a proclamation calling upon public officials and the citizens of this State to observe the month with appropriate activities and programs.
3. This joint resolution shall take effect immediately.
This joint resolution designates August of each year as “Meningitis Awareness Month” to enhance public awareness and understanding of meningitis, and requests the Governor to issue a proclamation calling upon public officials and the citizens of this State to observe the month with appropriate activities and programs.