Today, Tuesday April 24 is World Meningitis Day. I am putting out this special edition of the newsletter because it is important that you know about this disease.
Please take the time to read this article I have for your information and make sure to visit the website, www.meninfo.ca
What is Meningitis and
Why Should I Know About It?
In recent months, terrible meningitis cases have been reported in Ontario and British Columbia. Meningitis is a serious disease that still affects Canadian children – primarily babies under one year of age and adolescents.
Meningococcal disease manifests as bacterial infection caused by a germ or bacteria, and is an infection of the lining that covers the brain. Of those who develop meningitis, 1 in 4 will die within 48 hours and half of them are younger than five years of age.
Most don’t know that bacterial meningitis can be spread through simple contact like sharing toys or water bottles, as easily as a cold or flu? A shocking 1 in 5 Canadian teenagers are healthy carriers of the germs that cause meningitis.
There are five main strains of bacterial meningitis – strains A, C,Y,W-135 and B. There is a standard vaccine your child can receive to protect against meningitis C. There is a second vaccine that protects against A/C/Y/W-135. To date, there is still no vaccination against meningitis B.
The concerns surrounding meningitis are two-fold. The symptoms mimic a serious case of the flu and progress extremely quickly.
The symptoms include headache, fever and a stiff neck. Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to bright light, confusion and a purplish skin rash.
Babies under one year of age will be off their feed, have blotchy skin, a shrill or high pitched cry, a temperature and not be relating to you.
You can protect your children by learning more about the disease and symptoms, getting treatment quickly if your child becomes ill and ensuring that your child is vaccinated against the disease.
Trust your instincts and if you feel there is a problem, seek immediate medical attention. For more information on meningitis, including the signs and symptom and how you can protect your children, visit this resource – www.meninfo.ca.
Tuesday, April 24 is World Meningitis Day.