Meningitis- prevention and complications
Are you suffering from a fever and skin rashes? Chances are you might have meningitis, a disease that causes inflammation in the membranes that surround your brain and spinal cord. It is a common viral infection (but may also be caused by bacteria, fungi, parasites, and some other sources), and is contagious- easily transferable through sneezing, coughing, and close contact. To talk to a specialist for Infectious disease call us on 1-347-384-5690.
Symptoms might take several hours or even days to show up after contact with the infectious agent. Early symptoms might look like flu:
- Stiffness in the neck (that you are not able to move your chin down towards your chest)
- High fever
- Nausea or vomiting
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Sleepiness and difficulty in waking up
- Sensitivity to light
- Loss of appetite and thirst
- Skin rash
Symptoms in infants
If meningitis infects newborns these symptoms might show up:
- High fever
- Constantly crying (even after someone holds the baby)
- The baby seems lazy, sluggish, or inactive
- Stiff neck or body
- A bulge in the soft side of the baby’s head (fontanel)
- Unable to breastfeed
When you notice one or more symptoms together, you should visit the doctor.
Ignoring meningitis symptoms or delaying treatment can lead to complications which include:
- Brain damage
- Hearing or vision loss
- Memory problems
- Co-ordination issues (a hard time walking)
- Kidney failure
- Cognitive problems (Difficulty in learning)
- Death, in extreme cases.
Visit the doctor when you notice the symptoms of meningitis.
Bacterial meningitis is the most severe meningitis which can be lethal to you if you do not take prompt treatment. It can lead to brain damage and even death.
So, it is important to tell the doctor if someone close to you has meningitis. You also need to take medication to prevent meningitis.
You can prevent meningitis if you avoid the infectious agents (bacteria or fungus) that cause it. These infections spread through the infected person’s cough, sneezes, and close contact. So, always try to maintain a distance from the diseased person. The other prevention steps that you can take include:
- Wash your hands: Always wash your hands with water and soap (helps to prevent germs) especially after using the toilet, before and after eating, and when you’re in public places.
- Do not share your daily use items (such as handkerchiefs, towels, toothbrushes, lipstick, or eating utensils).
- Wear a mask when you’re in public places to avoid transmission through coughing and sneezing. And cover your mouth whenever you are about to cough and sneeze to avoid spreading germs.
- Stay healthy: Keep yourself healthy by eating healthy food, exercising, trying to reduce your stress by stress relieving techniques, and getting plenty of rest at night.
- If you’re pregnant, take care of your diet: Avoid unpasteurized dairy products such as milk, cheese, and meat and food products that are made from unpasteurized dairy products.
- Do not smoke.
Vaccinations are provided by the government to improve your immunity against meningitis. Vaccines that help to prevent meningitis, include:
- Hemophilus influenza type B vaccine: WHO and CDC recommend this vaccination for children who are 2 months old. It is also given to some adults, including those who have sickle cell disease and AIDS, and who don’t have a spleen.
- Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13): This vaccine is recommended for children who are younger than 2 years. This is also given to children aged between 2 to 5 who are at a considerable risk of pneumococcal disease and to children who are suffering from lung, heart disease, or cancer.
- Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23): This vaccine is given to older children and adults who need protection from pneumococcal bacteria. The CDC recommends the PPSV23 vaccine be given to adults who are older than 65 and children aged 2 or older who have a weak immune system or chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, sickle cell anemia, or someone who doesn’t have a spleen.
- Meningococcal conjugate vaccine: The first dose is given to children between the age of 11 to 12 and a booster dose at 16. If someone misses it this dose is, then given at 13 to 15 and a booster dose at 16 to 18. If all previous doses are missed, then only one dose is given to the child at 16 (no booster is necessary). This vaccination also helps to reduce the risk in children who have high chances of bacterial meningitis infection and were exposed to someone with the disease. This vaccination is also used for unvaccinated people who got exposed during outbreaks.
Meningitis is a serious viral infection that affects the membranes of the brain and spinal cord. While some meningitis infections heal on their own, some need emergency medical help to prevent life-threatening conditions which may cause permanent brain damage or even death.
Want to know about the treatment of meningitis?
At Doral Health and Wellness, we have doctors of Infectious diseases that can help you manage your condition. For more information, you can visit us at 1797 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, 11212, or call us at 1-347-384-5690. You can also visit our website at https://doralhw.org or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any queries.