Are you having flu-like symptoms that won’t go away even after several treatments; are you experiencing constant headaches accompanied with a stiff neck and a sudden high fever (temperatures persistently higher than 38 degrees); do you seem to lose concentration and sometimes feel confused, and food doesn’t seem to stay down due to vomiting? Then it is time to take a visit to your healthcare provider as they are major signs of Meningitis.
Meningitis is viral infection that results in the fluid and membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord to be infected and inflamed. The condition is mostly caused by a virus but infections from bacteria, fungi and other parasites can occur. In a less severe state any patient diagnosed with meningitis can improve in a few weeks with little or no medication and treatment, whilst more serious cases may need intense antibiotic coverage to prevent disability and further death. According to research, the bacterial form of meningitis is the deadliest and can lead to devastating effects within 24 hours if unidentified and treated.
According to WHO and other studies, approximately one in five get bacterial meningitis and out of these one in five suffer from lifelong consequences like hearing loss, challenges with vision, hearing, speech, memory, communication and ultimately sepsis after possible limb amputations. Anybody is at risk of meningitis from newborns to the elderly but those who stay in very crowded areas that include student environments, occupational settings and settlement camps.
The most common route of transmission is through contact with respiratory secretions and throat droplets from one person to the other, also transmission can occur from other to child through the vaginal canal during birth.
The most potent form of prevention is through vaccination, but other proven ways of prevention are:
- Washing your handing regularly with soap and running water to avoid dirt coming in contact with eyes, nose and other exposed parts of the body.
- Proper treatment of wounds and cuts, especially those from rusted materials or unknown origins as these can be entry points for bacteria.
- Avoid sharing of intimate objects like toothbrushes, nail clippers, razors and if possible, eating utensils.
- Maintain a healthy diet and stay hydrated.
- Boost your immunity through vegetables and fruits and supplements like Vit. C, Zinc and Omega 3, 6 & 9
Meningitis is a medical emergency and needs immediate attention, so if you been noticing symptoms like those mentioned; persistent headaches, vomiting, high fever, stiff neck and confusion please rush to the nearest healthcare provider for help.
HCI Healthcare is very particular about your health and therefore we have various packages to suit your healthcare needs. Having symptoms that have been persistent and not sure when to escalate? You can reach out to us, and we’d be sure to connect you with sound healthcare professionals within your network.
Happy Meningitis Awareness Day and remember, elimination is possible by 2030 if join our hands together to live healthy.
Rebecca Adeleke-Adesanmi, BSc. Nur., MA, Healthcare Mgt.
Health & Wellness Advocate,
HCI Healthcare HMO