Meningitis in children – what you need to know #MyfriendAlexa

As a doctor, I have come face to face with many deadly diseases. The one thing that has remained constant to prevent or fight against these diseases is awareness. They say being forewarned is forearmed and in the case of children, you can never have enough information. I remember during my internship days in the pediatric ward, I would notice that the number of child patients suffering from meningitis would increase especially during summers. And this is exactly what I will be discussing with you today – what is Meningitis in children and what you should know.

Meningitis in Children – what you need to know

In meningitis, inflammation occurs in the membranes of the brain and the spinal cord. The common reason is an infection which is caused by bacteria or virus. People of any age can get meningitis, but children are at higher risk since their immune systems are not mature.

15% of children suffering from bacterial meningitis will be left with life-long disabilities.

Globally, 170,000 deaths occur yearly due to bacterial meningitis. In India, there has been a steady increase seen in meningococcal meningitis. And given this data and as a doctor, I feel we can fight this disease through awareness and conversations. Since so many deaths have occurred I make it a point to have a discussion with my patients and family members regarding this deadly disease and why they need to keep a lookout.

In these discussions, I am often asked if so many cases have been identified, why have there been so many deaths. And I tell them that it is because initial symptoms are difficult to recognize as symptoms of meningitis can be similar to those indicating a viral fever.

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What are some of the common symptoms?

  1. Fever, headache, nausea, vomiting
  2. Neck rigidity
  3. Muscles pain
  4. Seizures
  5. Neurological signs

Infants and children under 5 years old are most at risk.

Why is it important to protect from Meningococcal Meningitis?

  1. Devastating diseases: It can kill an otherwise healthy young person within 24-48 hours.
  2. Difficult to diagnose:Initialsymptoms are similar to viral fever.
  3. Long-term disability: Disability such as hearing loss, brain damage, learning difficulties, seizures, etc. can occur.

Meningitis in children – what you need to know

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What can you do?

Here are some easy to do steps that can help reduce the risk of infection:

  1. Inculcate the habit of washing hands in your children, especially before eating, after using the washroom or playing with other kids
  2. Teach them to avoid close contact with anyone who is unwell
  3. Teach them to sneeze or cough in the crook of their elbow instead of their palms
  4. Always make sure the place your child is going to is clean and hygienic
  5. Vaccination – Consult your child’s pediatric to know more about the disease and the vaccines available for infants and teens. Your child should be vaccinated for the meningococcal conjugate vaccine(MCV). Some childhood vaccine can help to protect against viral meningitis.

Meningococcal meningitis can often be devastating and life-threatening. Speak to your child’s pediatrician now. Together, armed with this information, we can fight this menace and save our children!

For more information on meningococcal meningitis and its prevention check: http://www.comomeningitis.org/


References:

  • Davidson’s Principles and Practice of Medicine Meningitis in children
  • MedlinePlus: “Meningitis – meningococcal.”
  • CDC: Meningococcal Vaccines: What You Need to Know

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Disclosure: The views shared are solely Author only.

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.

Dr Bushra

Gynaecologist by profession~~Food ,Health,lifestyle,Freelance Blogger~~social media influencer~~writer at heart~~Email for collaboration

47 thoughts on “Meningitis in children – what you need to know #MyfriendAlexa

  • September 12, 2018 at 12:17 pm
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    Very informative and important post for all the parents. You said it right that being forewarned is forearmed. And when it comes to children we can’t take even the slightest risk. If in doubt, parents should always consult their doctor. Thank you, Dr. Bushra for sharing such an insightful information about Meningitis. Must read for every parent!

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  • September 12, 2018 at 12:23 pm
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    Meningitis is a deadly disease which surely needs a lot of awareness. This is a helpful post. Parents need to know that there are preventive ways through vaccinations.

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  • September 12, 2018 at 4:42 pm
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    Its important to be aware of all the preventions and dangers of meningitis.Its a very helpful post which will help many people.

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  • September 13, 2018 at 8:48 am
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    Meningitis is often not spoken much about, but my paediatrician shared with me every aspect of it in detail. We got our child vaccinated for this bacterial infection and maintain the due hygiene.

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  • September 13, 2018 at 2:44 pm
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    this is such a useful post and every parent should be made aware of this. thanks. as a parent, i didnt know much about the subject

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  • September 13, 2018 at 6:49 pm
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    Oh my god! I too was completely unaware of meningitis! I will make sure I explain it to all my friends! And sneezing or coughing on the crook of hand was something new I learnt today!

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  • September 13, 2018 at 7:40 pm
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    Having a pediatrician in the family i hear such scary tales about diseases and late diagnosis.in children. Well researched article.

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  • September 13, 2018 at 10:53 pm
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    This is such a serious issue that needs to be highlighted. People are still unaware of it and children are vulnerable…thanks for putting up this post…

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  • September 14, 2018 at 12:35 am
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    Accha hai ki aaj awareness k liye itne acche platforms n itne intelligent log bhi hai jo itne acche se samjhate hain 👏👏👏👏👏
    Vaccination tym per lena bhi bahut jaruri hai
    Thanks for post 😍😍

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  • September 14, 2018 at 2:01 am
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    Alarming post I must say .Never knew about such things .Thanks for sharing

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  • September 15, 2018 at 3:29 pm
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    Knowing a disease and learning about the symptoms and treatment is half the battle is won. Very informative post Bushra. #IMDAware

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  • September 15, 2018 at 8:24 pm
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    I was not aware of such a horrific disease, thanks Dr. Bushra for spreading awareness among the parents about Meningococcal Meningitis.

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  • September 16, 2018 at 8:46 am
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    very informative post, the knowledge of disease would help many. vaccination should be taken for flu.

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  • September 16, 2018 at 4:26 pm
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    15% of the children suffering will be left with life long disabilities? That’s really frightening! People need to know more about these diseases! Thank you for spreading awareness!

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  • September 16, 2018 at 7:48 pm
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    Thank you Dr. Bushra for this enlightening post. I totally would recommend each and every parent especially my close friends who are new parents to read this insightful post.

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  • September 16, 2018 at 11:45 pm
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    thank you for this post, many are not even aware of this dangerous disease!

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  • September 17, 2018 at 1:28 am
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    When it comes to children, it is better to be over cautious than neglecting any signs or symptoms and taking the risk. Thank you for sharing such an informative post. It is a must read article for all parents.

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  • September 17, 2018 at 1:51 am
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    That’s a very informative and helpful post. It’s a must read for all parents for their kids.

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  • September 17, 2018 at 10:11 am
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    Love the information you give out in each post. This need much more awareness.. a lot of parents are unaware of such things.

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  • September 17, 2018 at 11:51 am
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    Thanks for this post Meningitis is a very dreadfu disease in our family cause we lost a near & dear one because of it. Thanks for this ddetailed post I will take all prevention actions against it.

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  • September 17, 2018 at 12:02 pm
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    Amazing and informative post. Meningitis is very necessary to be aware. Very useful precautions and symptoms to keep in mind for the protection of kids. Great insightful thoughts.

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  • September 21, 2018 at 1:42 am
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    Very informative post

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  • September 24, 2018 at 11:22 am
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    Very informative and useful post.

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  • September 24, 2018 at 11:28 am
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    Thanks for sharing this. It will spread awareness as many still don’t know much about it.

    Reply
  • September 24, 2018 at 12:10 pm
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    The right information makes any disease easier to tackle. Your informative posts should alert Parents to teh dangers of Meningitis.

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  • September 24, 2018 at 12:38 pm
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    Quite informative post. Thanks for sharing.

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  • September 24, 2018 at 12:56 pm
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    A very important post on a deadly disease. Meningococcal mengitis is lethal, Very important precautionary measures are suggested. Although drugs are available, many drugs are becoming ineffective against bacteria due to resistance deveopement. In this scenario, prevention becomes all the more important.

    Reply
  • September 24, 2018 at 1:03 pm
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    Very informative! Saved and shared with my friends!

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  • September 24, 2018 at 1:34 pm
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    very informative post.

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  • September 24, 2018 at 1:45 pm
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    Very informative article. Thankfully our paediatrician insisted on meningococcal vaccine

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  • September 24, 2018 at 2:52 pm
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    It was indeed a bit devastating to learn that Meningitis can kill a person between 24 to 48 hours. And the symptoms are also similar to viral fever. I guess the best thing is to keep our surroundings clean and make sure that we follow strict personal hygiene.

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  • September 24, 2018 at 3:03 pm
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    Very informative post. Most people don’t know of such diseases and symptoms. Thanks for sharing

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  • September 24, 2018 at 3:09 pm
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    very informative post. awareness is very important these days

    #myfriendalexa #poseinstylereads

    Reply
  • September 24, 2018 at 8:55 pm
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    Very informative post. I did not know much about it. And the precautionary measures you have mentioned are so easy to be followed.

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  • September 24, 2018 at 9:43 pm
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    Great info..

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  • September 24, 2018 at 10:01 pm
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    This disease surely needs some awareness. This was a very informative post a parent should not give it a miss

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  • September 24, 2018 at 10:06 pm
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    such an informative post. meningitis is such a dreading disease and being aware is the only key to prevent complications. thanks a lot for sharing this info in a simple and effective way. #Surbhireads

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  • September 24, 2018 at 10:07 pm
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    This is a very informative post about meningitis. We should be aware of how to reduce the risk of this disease.

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  • September 24, 2018 at 10:50 pm
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    OMG!! Is it so dangerous?? Had Heard about it but never had given a thought to be aware about it. Very informative. Thank you. for sharing it.

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  • September 24, 2018 at 11:00 pm
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    Thanks for sharing informative post on Meningitis.

    Reply
  • September 24, 2018 at 11:10 pm
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    An important and a relevant post. Keep spreading awareness. Awesome.
    #MyFriendAlexa #ContemplationOfaJoker #Jokerophilia

    Reply
  • September 25, 2018 at 2:45 am
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    Thanks for creating awareness through your posts…

    Reply
  • September 25, 2018 at 8:57 am
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    You are so right. Most of these diseases go unnoticed just because most of the people consider them as a common fever or cold. Awareness definitely can break this pre assumed notion and can save lives of many. Very informative post Bushra.

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  • September 25, 2018 at 11:10 am
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    Prevention is always better. Thanks for such an informative post.

    Rashmi

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  • September 25, 2018 at 12:39 pm
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    It is a detailed post for getting acquainted with the disease Meningitis. And, better to be prepared than sorry!

    Reply
  • September 25, 2018 at 2:00 pm
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    This is such an important and very helpful post for everyone to understand what is Meningitis.

    Reply
  • September 25, 2018 at 7:51 pm
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    Scary to read about the disease.. yet informational .. awareness is really important.

    Reply

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