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Chris Fane's Student Ministry News

A youth ministry blog consisting of a collection of articles and notes related to
student / youth ministry. Gathered by Chris Fane of egadideas.com

French kissing risky for teens, meningitis researchers find


Teens who passionately kiss multiple partners run a higher risk of getting meningococcal disease, according to a British study.

Authors of the research say changing personal behaviour or developing additional vaccines could reduce infections.

Meningococcal disease is caused by bacteria that can lead to several kinds of infection, including meningitis - an inflammation of the fluid and lining of the brain and spinal cord.

The number of incidents of the potentially life-threatening condition tend to peak in early childhood and adolescence.

For two years, Dr. Joanna Tully of the University of London led a team that examined the biological and social risks for meningococcal disease in 15-to-19-year olds across England.

They compared lifestyles and the medical conditions of 144 teens, who had the disease, to a group of healthy teens the same age. All participants gave blood, throat and nasal samples.

Intimate kissing of multiple partners contributed to a higher risk of meningococcal disease, the researchers said in the Feb. 10 online edition of British Medical Journal.

"Our findings imply that changing personal behaviours could reduce the risk of meningococcal disease in adolescence," they said.

Health promotion campaigns may also help reduce risk in young people, but it is unlikely they will have a major impact, the study's authors acknowledged.

The U.K. Department of Health's "look out for your mate" campaign encourages young people to be aware of how apparent flu-like illnesses or hangovers may, in fact, be the early warning signs for meningococcal disease.

Meninigitis Quick Facts

Symptoms include:
* Fever.
* Drowsiness or confusion.
* Severe headache.
* Stiff neck.
* Nausea and vomiting.
Source: The Meningitis Research Foundation of Canada

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