Although little can be done to prevent meningitis, its symptoms should be recognized and immediate medical attention sought to assist in reducing its devastating health hazards. The following measures however, can be employed to control the spread of the illness. Scheduled immunization helps in preventing bacterial meningitis. Several vaccines such as haemophilus influenza type B have been used to protect meningitis caused by microorganisms such as hib.
Other vaccines such as vaccines against meningococcal meningitis caused by strains A, C, Y and W135 called quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine are recommended for students between the ages of 18 and 25. This vaccine is also recommended for people living close to each other such as in schools and colleges and people traveling to countries where meningitis is rampant. Another vaccine to control pneumococcal meningitis is given to people with head injuries and immune deficiencies. These vaccines are given to people who are at risk of contracting meningitis as a result of being in close contact.
These people may be family members or members of the same dormitory in schools and colleges. Those who are not at risk such as coworkers and classmates do not require this vaccination (ehealthMD, para 4). When vaccination is unavailable especially in cases of strain B meningococcal meningitis, people who are at risk of contracting meningitis as a result of being in close contact with people who are already infected are given antibiotics known as rifampicin to protect them against the disease.
However, this vaccine causes stomach upsets darkens urine and therefore should be used for a maximum of two days (ehealthMD, para 8). Viral meningitis has no vaccination. However, those viruses responsible viral meningitis can be eliminated by mump and polio vaccinations. Many of these viruses can be prevented by good hygiene practices. These practices include washing hands before meals and after using toilets and bathrooms, proper preparation of food, ensuring that chilled foods are heated before they are consumed, and checking the “sell by” dates of foods before buying food (ehealthMD, para 10).
Conclusion Immediately the symptoms discussed above are observed, it is recommended that immediate medical attention is sought to diagnose whether these symptoms are for meningitis or just normal common flu or fever. This is important because some types of meningitis which are dangerous such as bacterial meningitis and can possibly lead to death take the form of flu and fever like illnesses. The earlier these conditions are diagnosed and treated, the better.
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