Meningitis (from the Greek. meninx - mater) - inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. Meningitis can be caused by various viruses and bacteria, and even fungi. The best way to meningitis prevention determined by the age, health and the environment. Unfortunately, there is no universal means of protection against this dangerous disease, but can help reduce the risk of disease and vaccination, subject to reasonable precautions.
From the various types of meningitis disease no one is immune. However, medical studies have shown that some age groups are at greater risk of the disease, in particular:
- children younger than 5 years;
- adolescents and young people aged from 16 to 25 years;
- adults over 55 years.
Studies have also shown that some disease or disorder (e.g., rupture of the spleen, chronic illness or disease of the immune system), increase susceptibility to meningitis.
Because some causes of meningitis arepassed around, most outbreaks of the disease occur in areas of dense crowds. Thus, an increased risk of meningitis are subject to students living in the dormitory, and the soldiers living in barracks. However, even if you find one or more risk factors, it does not mean that you are bound to get sick, because meningitis - a relatively rare disease.
Vaccination helps prevent manydiseases that can cause meningitis. The most common vaccinations against meningitis do children at an early age. Here are the basic vaccines that prevent the occurrence of bacterial and viral meningitis:
The vaccine against Haemophilus influenzae type B,preventing infections that cause pneumonia, meningitis and other diseases. This vaccine is administered to children aged from 2 months to 5 years, as well as children over 5 years old suffering from certain diseases. Previously, these bacteria are considered to be the most common causative agent of bacterial meningitis, but thanks to this vaccine such cases were rare.
Meningococcal vaccine protects against the mainpathogenic bacteria causes of meningitis. Typically, it is administered to children aged 11-12 years. This vaccination is also recommended freshmen living in a dormitory, soldiers, recruits, ill-defined diseases of the immune system, as well as tourists traveling to countries where meningitis epidemics occur periodically, for example, in some African countries.
Vaccinations against other diseases asconsidered to be the prevention of meningitis. The triple vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella are usually administered to children. It protects against meningitis, which may arise as a result of measles and rubella. Varicella vaccine is also important because the infection of chickenpox can potentially lead to disease viral meningitis.
In addition to vaccination, doctors recommend the use of the following means for the prevention of meningitis:
- Start with the obvious: Try to refrain from contact with meningitis patients. Some types of meningitis transmitted by airborne droplets, such as by kissing, coughing, sneezing, as well as the sharing of personal hygiene items, such as towels or toothbrush. If your family has meningitis patients, try to isolate them from the rest of the family;
- Always wash your hands with soap and water after contact with a patient with meningitis;
- after close contact with meningitis patientsbe sure to consult a doctor. Depending on the degree of closeness of contact and the type of meningitis you will need to take antibiotics for the prevention of disease;
- Be particularly careful when traveling inpotentially dangerous areas. Some types of meningitis are carried by animals and pests, so try to stay away from them as far as possible, and do not forget to use mosquito repellent.