Any person with sudden onset of high temperature…that is…fever of more than 38 degree centigrade or 101 degree Fahrenheit, neck stiffness along with any of the following symptoms: feeling of being sick, irritability and lack of energy, headache, aching muscles and joints, breathing quickly, cold hands and feet, pale, mottled skin, confusion, dislike of bright lights, drowsiness,fits (seizures),if present ,can be suffering from Meningitis. in patients of less than two years meningitis fever may be accompanied by bulging fontanelle,the soft spot on top of the head, refuse feeds, be agitated and not want to be picked up, be floppy or unresponsive, have an unusual high-pitched cry and have a stiff body. Meningitis is a potentially fatal infection and needs to be treated early.
Although meningitis is a notifiable disease in many countries, its exact incidence rate is unknown, The annual number of invasive disease cases worldwide was estimated to be at least 1.2 million, with 135,000 deaths related to invasive meningococcal disease in 2013. We couldn’t find any reliable prevalence data for India.
Meningitis is usually caused by a viral, bacterial or fungal infection. Meningococcal meningitis, caused by Neisseria meningitidis bacteria, is of particular importance due to its potential to cause large epidemics. Neisseria meningitidis only infects humans; there is no animal reservoir. The bacteria are transmitted from person-to-person through droplets of respiratory or throat secretions from carriers. Smoking, close and prolonged contact – such as kissing, sneezing or coughing on someone, or living in close quarters with a carrier – facilitates the spread of the disease. Transmission of N. meningitidis is facilitated during mass gatherings. It is possible to get meningitis more than once. The average incubation period is four days.
Whatever the status of symptoms, it is always necessary to consult qualified health care professional for management. Meningococcal disease is potentially fatal and should always be viewed as a medical emergency. Admission to a hospital or health centre is necessary. Isolation of the patient is not necessary. Home care for Meningitis fever is simply supportive care. Rest provides relief from symptoms such as headache. Cool washcloths to the forehead, cool baths to reduce fever. Minor pain usually can be relieved with medicines like painkillers. Fluid intake to address dehydration.
Management of Meningitis at the health care facility consists of any or all of the listed points (ONE) presumptive diagnosis of Meningitis based on symptoms; (TWO) blood test to check for bacteria or viruses; lumbar puncture – where a sample of fluid is taken from the spine and checked for bacteria or viruses; computerised tomography (CT) scan to check for any problems with the brain, such as swelling evaluation; (THREE) IV fluids, IV antibiotics; oxygen through a face mask if there are any breathing difficulties steroid medication to help reduce any swelling around the brain, in some cases; (FOUR) Additional treatment and long-term support may also be required if any complications of meningitis occur, such as hearing loss.
The risk of someone with meningitis spreading the infection to others is generally low. But if someone is thought to be at high risk of infection, they may be given a dose of antibiotics as a precautionary measure. WHO promotes a strategy comprising epidemic preparedness, prevention, and outbreak control.Meningitis can be caused by a number of different infections, so several vaccinations offer some protection against it. There are three types of vaccines available: Polysaccharide vaccines are used during a response to outbreaks; Conjugate vaccines are used in prevention (into routine immunization schedules and preventive campaigns) and outbreak response; Protein based vaccine, against N. meningitidis B. It has been introduced into the routine immunization schedule (one country as of 2017) and used in outbreak response.Elimination of pathogen reservoir where the bacteria, viruses and parasites breed and multiply, educating people and health workers on early identification and faster management as we are trying through this video series will also probably help in the prevention of Meningitis.
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