Meningitis is a viral or bacterial infection which may spread if not treated and people may die and have brain damage if an early treatment is not applied. It highly affects children and is caused by bacteria known as Neisseria meningitidis.
This micro organism is found mostly in nose or throat in some people. And people who carry it are known as carriers. And these people or carriers can spread it to other people while open mouth kissing, sharing utensils for food, sneezing and coughing. Susceptible people have high chances of developing an infection after getting an exposure to the bacteria. Therefore, in order to prevent this type of diseases to develop in the body, one should take care of vaccinations.
Vaccinations for meningitis are available and given at young age with different doses.
Today, it is a lot easier and advanced vaccines have been introduced.
A routine vaccination for meningococcal conjugate is required. When a child is 11 – 12 years of age, he or she is given the first dose and a booster shot can be given 5 years later when he or she is 16-17 years of age. Not only young children but older people who are over 55 years of age can also be given a vaccine for meningococcal polysaccharide. However, unvaccinated people between 16 to 21 years of age are at high risk for developing meningitis. The vaccination works in a way that immune system learns to recognize proteins on bacteria causing meningococcal meningitis. After recognition, it targets the bacteria and fights against it. For bacterial meningitis, antibiotics are also given but there also exists viral meningitis which is hard to treat but is rare. Viral meningitis can be cured with maintaining strong immune system. Immediate vaccination should be taken if you are about to travel certain susceptible regions like sub-Saharan Africa.
There are various symptoms that occur when having meningitis; these include high fever, shivering, stiff neck, hand and feet being cold, severe headache, fast breath, muscles and joints ache, pale skin, often blue, drowsiness, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea. All of these symptoms are very painful and one expects to get rid of those quickly which is often difficult. So, a preventive measure is best when it comes to meningitis. Many younger children develop early signs as symptoms that highlight some attention is needed.
For example :
Skin rash appears as small patches of dots or red rashes on body. By learning more about these symptoms, one can take immediate help from the doctor. It will help the child to get early treatment and be healthy. In addition, a child can also show excessive crying as a symptom if he or she is showing any signs of this disease. Everyone of us should make an effort to stop spreading of this dreadful disease by getting vaccinations and also making other people aware about it. This would help a lot in taking precautions against meningitis. Maintaining a hygienic atmosphere, eating well balanced food and regular exercises will help keep a healthy immune system and not catch any kind of infection.