We as a mother choose everything best for our babies. Be it deciding baby’s skincare products, toys, clothes, food, and even vaccination. But giving only Pneumococcal vaccination doesn’t ensure complete protection for our child against vaccine-preventable acute bacterial infections. Let’s talk about Meningitis today! What Is Meningitis?
Meningitis is inflammation of the membrane which surrounds & protects the spinal cord and brain. There are various organisms causing meningitis, while the most common ones are bacteria and viruses.
According to national health report, cases and death due to Meningococcal Meningitis in Maharashtra were 89 and 1 respectively in the year 2016, which rose to 151 cases in 2017.
Causes Of Meningitis In Babies
The common causes of meningitis in a baby are Bacteria, fungus, and viruses.
- Viral meningitis is known to be the common cause of meningitis in children. It tends to make one feel very unwell but often not life-threatening. But can cause severe infection and babies under 5 have a high risk from viral meningitis.
- Bacterial meningitis is also known as a meningococcal disease is the most serious and needs urgent medical attention.
- Fungal meningitis is a rare case and affects weak immune systems. Prematurely born baby with low weight has a high risk of blood infection from Candida fungus.
Symptoms Of Meningitis In Babies, Toddlers, And Children
The meningitis symptoms in a baby can be:
- Sudden high fever. Seizure in some cases due to high fever.
- Dislike being handled
- Refusing food
- Less active than usual
- Very sleepy or hard to wake up
- Pale, blotchy skin, skin rashes
- Stiff neck
- Bulging fontanel (the soft spot on the head )
- Bright light sensitivity
Treatment Of Meningitis
Meningitis treatment totally depends upon the actual cause. Sometimes Babies with viral meningitis tend to get well even without any treatment. But it is also advisable to seek medical advice for your baby’s health.
Also, Treatment of meningitis must start as early as possible for fast recovery. However, if it is rapid meningitis admission to the hospital becomes necessary. Septicaemia and Bacterial meningitis need very urgent treatment to avoid any serious and life-threatening conditions.
Antibiotics may not be effective in case of viral meningitis. In such cases, Patients should be given enough fluids, pain relief medicines and rest for faster recovery.
When diagnosed and treated on time, this life-threatening infection can be fully recovered. However, delay in treatment can leave your baby lifelong consequences even if they have survived the disease such as:
- Learning Difficulties
- Brain Damage
Meningitis Prevention In Babies And Meningococcal Meningitis Vaccination
Vaccines can help to prevent many kinds of meningitis. Hence, it is advisable to give a meningitis vaccine. Menactra is a vaccine used to assure parents form serious and devastating disease like meningococcal meningitis. It helps to protect the babies against 3 types of acute bacterial meningitis.
More About Menactra (MCV – Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine)
This is a vaccine given against Neisseria Meningitis that cause meningococcal meningitis (MM). It has to be given as 2 doses to babies aged 9 months and above. We all know about mandatory vaccine PCV (Pneumococcal vaccine) & HiB as per the Govt. of India & National Immunization Program. We often tend to miss out MCV, since they optional vaccine in India for few incidences of Meningococcal Meningitis.
Currently, Sanofi Pasteur is the only meningococcal conjugate vaccine available in India. And is approved to be used for children at 9 months of age.
Find more information on www.voicesofmeningitis.org
Meningococcal meningitis is a deadly and very serious disease. It progresses rapidly and can kill a child in less than 24-48 hours. In some cases, it can also lead to serious complications even after recovery. Hence the best way to prevent meningococcal meningitis and prevent your child is Menactra (MCV – Meningococcal conjugate vaccine). One dose of this vaccine is Rs.4950, which is definitely high but worth protecting your child from the deadly nature of the disease.
I had taken a pledge this 24th April that marks World Meningitis Day to protect my child against this deadly form of the disease and offer comprehensive protection. Do help me increase the awareness for meningococcal meningitis among Young mothers, Mothers with whose child’s age is below 5 years.
“Meningitis is very crucial for the health and is important for the child”
Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only and use of any information provided is solely at your own risk. Please consult your doctor for more information.