Meningitis – A Deadly Disease of the Brain
Let’s Raise Awareness
Hello to all my lovely readers. I know most of you must be wondering what’s this weird term ‘Meningitis‘ in the post title. Well, in very simple words, it’s an infection of the brain which can result in the death of a person (any age group) within a few hours. I was not aware of this infection until lately when Nemit’s pediatrician threw some light on this horrifying disease. And today I am writing this post to spread awareness and share my understanding of this fatal disease with other parents.
Being a parent is a huge responsibility and we want to do the best for our kids. However, sometimes lack of awareness can result in devastating consequences.
Last month when we visited the pediatrician for Nemit’s vaccination, my eyes caught a term ‘meningococcal‘ on the chart. It was mentioned that this vaccine was recommended for high-risk groups. And like any other panicky parent, I asked the doctor what that meant. It was then when she explained to us about ‘Meningitis’. After returning home, I did some research to understand it better and was shocked to read some facts about it.
Meningitis affects more than 2.8 million people globally each year. Babies, toddlers, and young children under the age of 5 are the most at-risk group for meningitis, with over 50% of all cases occurring in this age group.
Nemit’s pediatrician also told us about the different types of Meningitis but stressed most on Bacterial Meningitis. It is the most serious and fatal form of infection. If not diagnosed and treated on time, can cause death within a few hours in young children.
Babies and toddlers are at high risk because their immune system is not fully developed. Hence, they cannot fight infection.
You know, the germs that cause Meningitis reside in people’s nose, throat, and intestines. But the infection can only occur if they pass on to the bloodstream and reach the layer which covers the brain and the spinal cord. It was mentioned in one article that babies and young children can get it from an infected person by,
- kissing and touching
- coughing and sneezing
- or sharing their personal items
Hence, it’s important to understand the early signs and symptoms if we want to protect our kids against this fatal disease. The first symptoms are usually high fever and vomiting. However, the early symptoms can appear similar to flu and hence often get missed. I always say when it’s about babies, we should never take chances. So, trust your instincts, and if you see the child is getting sick, fast and getting worse, get medical help immediately.
You may also want to read Breath Holding Spells in Children!
One of the most effective ways to prevent your child from contracting Bacterial Meningitis is to get your child vaccinated.
Doctor asked me a question which I want to ask every parent who is reading this post. Did your child get a vaccine against Meningitis? (if you are following the immunization schedule)
Well, I am sure not many will answer a ‘Yes’ to this question. Just because we lack awareness.
The vaccine to prevent Meningitis is available and the babies can be vaccinated against Meningococcal Bacteria, 9 months onward.
The WHO estimates that each year, over 1 million children die of diseases that could be prevented by a vaccine.
It’s really important for parents to understand the causes of meningitis and how it spreads. And, also the importance of getting their child vaccinated to protect them from this deadly disease.
Thanks for reading, I hope this post helps in raising awareness about this fatal disease. Please share this post as much as possible.