World Meningitis Day 2013
April 24 is World Meningitis Day. It is a call to action to raise awareness and educate people on the symptoms and vaccines of meningitis in order to reduce the global impact of the disease. While meningitis can affect people of all ages, infants are at an increased risk of infection. It can be overwhelming to keep track of all the information available so we’ve summarized some of it for you.
A few facts about Meningitis:
- Meningitis is caused by an infection of the membrane around the brain and spine.
- Early symptoms are similar to the flu and include fever, headache, stiff neck and vomiting. Other symptoms can include light sensitivity, confusion and no interest in eating or drinking.
- Bacterial meningitis can be spread through contact like sharing toys or drinks, as easily as a cold or flu.
- Meningococcal disease is an aggressive illness that can lead to death within 24-48 hours of the first symptom. About 1 in 10 of those with the disease will die despite treatment.
- Up to one in five survivors suffers from life-long disabilities such as brain damage, hearing loss, or limb loss.
- Infants and young adults are at the greatest risk to bacterial meningitis. The highest rate of meningococcal disease occur in the first year of life.
- There are five main strains of bacterial meningitis and not all them can be protected by available vaccines.
- Meningitis B is the most common cause of bacterial meningitis. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization, has identified the need to find a safe and effective meningococcal B vaccine against meningitis B.
These are a few facts. Make sure you do research and educate yourself. Talk to your doctor about what you can do to protect your family.