DENVER — The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and Colorado State University are joining forces to launch “Voices of Meningitis” campaign. Their goal is to increase awareness about the potentially fatal disease, and to encourage preteens and teenagers to get vaccinated.
Lisa Krizman lost her daughter to meningitis in April of 2007.
“Sierra was perfectly healthy on Easter Sunday, the next day came down with flu like symptoms and within 24 hours she was gone. The doctors treating sierra did not know enough about meningitis to diagnose it and get the treatment that could save her life. Our family was not aware of this fatal disease and the vaccine that could’ve prevented it until after she was gone, “she said. “We can’t change what happened to sierra and all the other victims of this devastating disease, but we can try to prevent this horrible tragedy for anybody else.”
Meningococcal disease, which includes meningitis, may be rare, but it can be deadly. A new national survey showed that a majority of teenagers engage in activities that put them at risk of contracting the disease. It is spread through saliva and can occur through coughing, kissing, sneezing and sharing water bottles. It is preventable with a simple vaccine. Colorado‘s meningococcal disease vaccination rate is 54%. The CDC‘s goal is 80%.
For free or reduced vaccines, call “Vaccines for Children” at 303-692-2650 or visit www.coloradovfc.com
For information about Sierra’s Race Against Meningitis: http://www.sierrasraceagainstmeningitis.com/tag/sierra-krizman/
For more information: www.voicesofmeningitis.org
Copyright © 2011, KDVR-TV
Deborah Takahara Anchor9:23 p.m. MDT, August 15, 2011