Can Mmeningitis be prevented or avoided in Children? -
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Can Mmeningitis be prevented or avoided in Children?

Can Mmeningitis be prevented or avoided in Children?

by: Dr. Sorabh Goel
Consultant - Neonatology-Paras Bliss, Panchkula

Meningococcal meningitis is a serious infection which damages the brain and can even lead to death. Though the disease is uncommon but the infection is highly serious. Meningococcal meningitis is caused by Neisseria meningitides bacteria. Usually, about 1 in 10 people carry this germ in nose or throat which having any signs and symptoms of this disease. These type of people are known as carriers.

Signs and symptoms associated with Meningitis:

First symptoms appear quickly such as vomiting, diarrhea, cold or other infection sign. Symptoms of meningitis are different from adults. Infants may feel sleepy, very irritable and feed poorly or difficult to wake them up. It is difficult to comfort the baby even when they are picked and are being rocked by parents. Infants may also have bulging fontanelle and fever.

Apart from these, there are other symptoms of meningitis as well in the infants:

  • Stiffness of neck and body
  • Weak suck
  • Jaundice
  • High pitch cry
  • Lower temperature than normal temperature

In many cases, viral meningitis usually ends upto 7 to 10 days. There are few cases where some children might get treated in hospital, sometimes medical management at home can also work.

How can Meningitis be prevented?

With the help of routine immunization, you can prevent your child from getting infected from meningitis. The vaccinations that can be used to protect against meningitis are measles, polio, mumps, pneumococcal and Hib vaccines. It is advisable that kids when they are 11 or 12 years of age should be vaccinated by the meningococcal conjugate vaccine, also booster shots should be given till 16 years of age. MenB which is a newer type of meningococcal vaccine can also be given to teens and young adults under the guidance of the doctor.

It is advised that kids should wash their hands properly and often especially before having food and after using the washroom. Avoid contact with an ill person, don not share food, water or eat on same utensils with the ill person to stop spreading the germs.

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