Meningococcal meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges (tissues that surround the brain and spinal cord). This serious infection can cause severe brain damage, deforming limb loss, paralysis and death. We find out more from Dr Lulu C. Bravo the importance of opting for immunisation for your child and seeking emergency medical treatment once you discover symptoms of the infection.
- How does it spread and what can parents do to prevent their child from getting meningitis? This can be spread through everyday activities such as sharing of utensils, cups, food and also bodily contact such as kissing and contact of mucus and saliva. The most scientific and proven precaution is to protect the child with vaccination and to seek immediate medical treatment when suspected of an infection.
- Why is this disease something that parents should learn more about? It can kill young child in just 24 hours where 11-19 % of survivors develop deafness, permanent brain damage, or loss of a limb, and result in death. Here is a story about how The Dylan McNeil Foundation was set up by Sabrina McNeil after her son, Dylan, died from pneumococcal meningitis one day shy of his second birthday. Last year on World Meningitis Day Sabrina was on the news describing her story. Every other year the Foundation also runs a fundraiser called ‘Dutch Day for Dylan’.
- Where can one find out more about surviving meningitis and is there a support group for meningitis survivors? Meningococcal meningitis is rare, but it can destroy a life in less than 24 hours. That’s why parents and survivors have joined with Voices of Meningitis to share their inspirational and sometimes tragic stories. Read more about real stories of meningitis here and be inspired by how The Meningitis Centre, based in Perth, Australia, was set up by its Chairman, Bruce Langoulant, and Ambassador. Professor Fiona Stanley, in 1992. This video tells the story of Bruce’s daughter, Ashleigh, and the story of Adam Selwood, an ambassador of the charity that survived meningitis and went on to become a professional football player.
- Why invasive Meningococcal Disease can progress rapidly to death in just 24 hours*?
This is an extremely fast-progressing disease with high fatality rates, ranging from 30-80% with an average of 56%. Below are symptoms:
Early symptoms (0-6 hours): Confusion, fever, headache, nausea, poor appetite, sore throat
Classic symptoms (13-15 hours): Cold hands and feet, fever, vomiting, haemorrhagic rash**, headache, irritability, photophobic, neck pain and stiffness, rash, spots and purple bruises on skin
*Not every baby gets all the symptoms. Symptoms can appear in any order. **When meningococcal meningitis is accompanied by sepsis. Find out more about the signs and symptoms of meningitis and never underestimate the medical complications that can impact your child. Here is a video for your reference but always seek medical advice.