Olympic medalist swimmer, Dara Torres, the National Association of School Nurses, and Sanofi Pasteur launch multi-city health initiative, as part of Voices of Meningitis

Voices of Meningitis™, a public health initiative from the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) in collaboration with Sanofi Pasteur, aims to raise awareness among parents about the danger and prevention of meningococcal meningitis, and motivate them to talk to their child’s health care provider about their child’s vaccination status.

To raise awareness, 12-time Olympic medalist swimmer and mother, Dara Torres, will participate in a series of swim events in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago and New York.  Dara, along with local teen swim teams and mothers, will swim 24 laps to emphasize the urgency of disease prevention and highlight how the devastating effects of meningococcal disease can occur in as little as 24 hours.1,2   

Additionally, survivors of the disease, as well as parents of children who lost their lives to meningococcal meningitis, will be sharing their experiences during separate speaking tours in Cleveland, Kansas City, Portland and Raleigh. 

Although meningococcal meningitis is a rare but serious disease that can potentially take a life in 24 hours,3 a national survey revealed that more than two in three mothers have little to no knowledge of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) recommendations to prevent meningococcal meningitis. The CDC recommends that a child receive one dose of meningococcal vaccine at age 11 or 12 years, followed by a booster dose at age 16.4  

Parents can visit www.VoicesOfMeningitis.org to learn more about meningococcal meningitis, hear stories from families who have been impacted by the disease, and find educational materials and resources.




  1. Stephens DS, Greenwood B, Brandtzaeg P. Epidemic meningitis, meningococcaemia, and Neisseria meningitidis. Lancet. 2007;369(9580):2199.
  2. Pace D, Pollard A. Meningococcal disease: clinical presentation and sequelae. Vaccine. 2012;30(S):87.
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Meningococcal Vaccines: What You Need To Know. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/mening.pdf. Accessed March 24, 2014.  
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Prevention and control of meningococcal disease – recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). 2013;62(2):1-13. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr6202a1.htm. Accessed July 31, 2013.
Monday, May 12, 2014