I had a PTM (Parent Teacher Meeting) of my 4-year old kid in school. My kid was feverish that day but the meeting was important and I couldn’t avoid going.
As I walked into the classroom, I saw a familiar face. A friend who is also a doctor was waiting for her turn. I told her about my problem and the first thing she asked me was “How high is the fever and is your son complaining about headache or any rashes on the body?” When I answered in the negative, she looked relieved and assured me I could take her slot and get free fast.
I was curious about her reaction, and asked her for details. That is when I discovered about the silent killer – Meningococcal meningitis.
I had heard about Meningococcal meningitis but never knew how dangerous it really is! My doctor friend educated me about this deadly disease and what I can do as a parent to protect my child.
What is Meningococcal meningitis
Meningococcal meningitis causes inflammation in the membrane around the brain and spinal cord. This is a dangerous disease as its symptoms are similar to common flu but it can get bad real quick.
Common symptoms of Meningococcal meningitis
Stiffness in the neck
Difficulty in looking at bright lights, painful eyes
Various types of meningitis
Meningitis can be caused by Bacterial, Viral and Fungal infections.
Bacterial meningitis is seen as one of the deadliest forms. Studies in India have attributed pneumonia and meningitis as the leading cause of death among children below 5 years of age with nearly 40-50% of cases being of Meningococcal meningitis.
This is by far the least threatening and common form of meningitis where most patients recover fully without any permanent damage.
Fungal meningitis is caused by inhaling fungal spores from the environment. Fungal meningitis is not contagious.
Meningococcal meningitis is a form of bacterial meningitis and is associated with high fatality. It can affect anyone of any age. However it mainly affects children under 5 years of age and teenagers.
Even when Meningococcal meningitis is diagnosed early, 8% to 15% of patients die within 24-48 hours after the onset of symptoms. There is a high probability of brain damage, hearing loss or disability in 10% to 20% of survivors.
Vaccination is the best way to stay protected
The best way to protect your family members and children is to get them vaccinated so that you are always assured of their safety. At present, Meningococcal meningitis does not have a mandatory vaccine included in the vaccination schedule. Routine immunization programs tend to focus on higher risk population.
So, talk to your doctor today and find out about the vaccines that can protect your family against Meningococcal meningitis.
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. NehaTambe or the authors should be in no way held responsible in that case.