When you think of all the things that can cause a headache it can be mind-boggling. But your child complaining of a headache with fever is unusual and can be cause for worry. That’s why as a mother and a Doctor I am always trying to stay up to date with healthcare information.
And so I am taking this opportunity to help spread the right words and create awareness about meningitis and how to prevent it.
Do you know about meningitis?
It’s a cause for worry especially for infants and young kids. It causes an inflammation of the covering membranes that protect the brain and the spinal cord.
As my daughter was growing up, I kept a mental checklist of danger signs. Being a doctor, it was easy for me. But as parents, it is our job to be vigilant for signs that could mean more than simple flu or tantrum. Today I will share with you the warning signs for meningitis you must keep a lookout for. Fever, poor feeding, and neck rigidity are early warning signs of meningitis.
Other symptoms of meningitis include:
- General poor feeling, sudden high fever
- Skin rash
- Nausea or vomiting
- Discomfort in bright lights, blurring of vision, double vision and/or eye pain
- Drowsiness or difficulty in awakening
- Joint pain
- Confusion or other mental changes
What can cause Meningitis?
Viral diseases like mumps, measles, enteroviral diseases, chicken pox, herpes and many others. Viral meningitis is most common and is less severe than bacterial meningitis. Bacterial meningitis is a serious condition with potential for complications, death, and disability in survivors.
Why does it worry me as a mommy?
It may have a very quick progression and can cause death in a very short time. According to Nelson textbook of Pediatrics, the risk is highest between children of 6 months to two years of age.
The good news
There are vaccines available. My daughter received BCG, HIB, and pneumococcal and after researching about meningococcal vaccine that’s next in line.
Is it contagious?
Yes, it’s highly infectious. It can spread through cough and cold droplet infection.
With reported cases of meningococcal meningitis increasing in India and no routine immunization, it’s making me feel unsafe as a mother. When I know it’s highly infectious and when I know prevention is possible I don’t want to take a risk. Prevention is better than cure any day!
Important Takeaways: What I feel you can do as a parent to prevent this deadly disease?
- Check whether BCG vaccination was given or not (usually given at birth): given to my daughter.
- Check HIB vaccination was given or not (usually given as a pentavalent vaccine along with DPT): given to my daughter.
- Talk to your Pediatrician about the Pneumococcal vaccine: my daughter received it.
- Talk to your Pediatrician about the need for the Meningococcal vaccine.
In case you are unsure about your child’s need for protection and vaccination you must consult your pediatrician. For more information on meningococcal meningitis and its prevention check: http://www.comomeningitis.org/
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Read a Quick Guide on Meningitis in Children Signs,Symptoms and dangers giving some more clarity to this topic.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the blog content are independent and unbiased views of solely the blogger. This is a part of public awareness initiative on meningococcal 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. All decision regarding your health and child’s health should be done after consultation with your doctor. Read my full disclosure here. 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. Healthwealthbridge or the authors should be in no way held responsible in that case.
Written after consultation and discussion with Dr. Abhijit Misra (MD Pediatrician – Healthwealthbridge board of advisors)
This is part of #MyfriendAlexa 3.0 with Blogchatter!
- Nelson Text Book of Pediatrics
- IAP recommendations