April 24th was World Meningitis Day and as part of that I got to participate in a round table discussion with Dr. Taj Jadavji who amongst other things works at the Alberta Children’s Hospital specializing in Microbiology, Immunology and Infectious Diseases.
Meningitis caused the death of one of my husband’s cousins when he was a child and so it has always been something we’ve been aware of, but I have to admit I didn’t know a lot about it.
Meningitis in an inflammation of the fluid and membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord, it can be caused by a bacterial infection, viral infection or fungal infection. Based on the discussion with Dr. Jadavji, here are some things I think are worth noting about meningitis:
- Meningitis can be difficult to diagnose as it symptoms initially look like many other more common and benign diseases including fever, headaches, and a stiff neck
- Meningitis progresses quickly – if your child has a fever and suddenly takes a turn for the worse becoming very lethargic and stops making eye contact you should be seeking medical attention immediately
- There are vaccines that can protect you and your family against many of the causes of meningitis
- Meningitis is very rare, but the outcomes are very poor – it can result in death, hearing loss, and brain damage
- Anyone can get meningitis but infants and children under five years old and adolescents between 15 and 19 years of age are at most at risk.
If you like to learn about about meningitis you can talk to your doctor, or go to http://www.comoonline.org.
I received compensation for my time at the round table but was under no obligation to write about it. No industry personnel were present at the discussion and all medical information was presented by a medical doctor who is an expert in the field of infectious disease. I am in most definitely not a medical professional – if you would like more information about meningitis please speak to your doctor.