Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Meningitis Awareness

There is a new strain of Cerebrospinal Meningitis spreading in epidemic proportions for the first time in Nigeria. Meningitis is either a viral or bacterial infection of the protective layers of the brain and spinal cord (the meninges).
The outbreak is currently recorded in 16 states [as at 5th April, 2017] of the Federation including Lagos, Abuja and Cross-River.
The first step to prevention is education. Knowing and being aware of the causes, symptoms and risk factors can help you avoid the infection.

Signs and Symptoms
There are diverse signs and symptoms of Meningitis. They include, but are not limited to:
  • High temperature (+38oC)
  • Headache (may be throbbing)
  • Photophobia (High sensitivity to bright light)
  • Lethargy – Fatigue and sleeplessness
  • Stiff neck
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Seizures, fits or convulsions

Mode of Contact
Meningitis is usually contacted from people who carry the viruses and bacteria in the nose or throat but may not be ill. The infection can be transmitted via:
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Sharing of personal belongings

Meningitis can be diagnosed based on a medical history, physical examinations, laboratory investigations, etc.

If you think you have meningitis please visit a hospital near you. Treatment will depend on the type of meningitis present.
Do not self-medicate.

  • It is important to get vaccinated
  • Avoid close and prolonged contact with infected persons
  • Strict observance of hand hygiene (frequent hand washing)
  • Avoid overcrowding and sleep in well-ventilated places.