I recently came to know about Meningococcal Meningitis through a Twitter session and the details are worrisome. When I read more about Meningococcal Meningitis online, I was stunned at the information at hand. I can’t help wondering how I was completely unaware of such a deadly disease until now.
In fact, the alarming information about this extremely deadly disease is that it occurs commonly in kids and infants and there have been a high number of incidents in our country.
Meningococcal Meningitis is a bacterial infection that causes the swelling in the membranes (called as Meninges) in the brain and spinal cord affecting the entire body and can lead to a fatal situation within hours. (4) This disease is highly contagious and can easily be transferred through saliva, cough, sneezing.
The more I read about this disease the more worried I got. The symptoms of Meningococcal Meningitis are similar to any other regular flu and can easily be overlooked and ignored by us. Had I not been aware of this, I too might have cast aside such symptoms. And this is where it all goes wrong.
The bacterial infection spreads rapidly and it is imperative that the patient gets immediate medical attention to avoid mishaps. The key aspect of Meningococcal Meningitis is not only being aware of this disease but also about being cautious and acting spontaneously when needed.
Everything I learned about how Meningococcal Meningitis affects the body made me worry. As the bacteria affects the brain, the first symptom is a severe headache which can be easily mistaken with a migraine.
Hence one should check for the other symptoms like high fever, bulging spot in babies (on the top where the skull bones haven’t fused in yet), stiff neck, lack of appetite, difficulty in walking, extreme fatigue, rashes, and even loss of consciousness. In fact, a person suffering from high fever accompanied by rashes must immediately seek medical aid. (1)
It is unfortunate that even if the patients are given instant medical aid, there is no guarantee that they will recover 100%. This disease has devastating and long-term effects on the body.
Considering Meningococcal infection is primarily in the brain, the infected person even after the treatment can have partial or permanent deafness, light sensitivity, loss of vision, etc. (2) The brain damage may cause memory loss after recovery in adults and trouble in concentration in children. (2)
Hence it is advised to get children vaccinated in time to help them develop strong immunity against this bacterial infection. The Meningococcal Meningitis vaccination differs for infants and people, but the good thing is, infants as young as 9 months can also be given this vaccine.
It also works as the missing link in providing complete protection against acute bacterial meningitis. (5)
Being a mom of two kids, a 4 yo and an infant I am now wondering why the vaccination of such a deadly infection is not included in the vaccination charts of my kids.
A question I ought to ask the pediatrician on the next visit. Till then I had to get all the information on this serious illness. And now that I am aware of Meningococcal Meningitis, I am for sure getting my children vaccinated as soon as possible.
Join the movement against Meningococcal Meningitis today!
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the blog content are independent and unbiased views solely of the blogger. This is a part of public awareness initiative on meningitis supported by Sanofi Pasteur India. Sanofi Pasteur bears no responsibility for the content of the blog. One should consult their healthcare provider for any health-related information. This article is meant to help create awareness and spread knowledge. Any decision regarding your health and child’s health should be done after consultation with your doctor. While all efforts are made to keep articles updated, the speed of research in these fields mean the information often may change when more research knowledge is available. LiveItYoung or the authors should be in no way held responsible in that case.