Thursday, April 6, 2023

Meningitis in children.. Inflammation of the fluid and membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord



What is meningitis?

Meningitis is a bacterial disease that mostly affects different age groups, from birth to advanced ages, and is more unfamiliar to children. It is one of the most dangerous bacterial diseases because it affects the brain membrane, which includes the spider tissue in which the germ resides.

It causes severe and dangerous infections if the disease is not diagnosed early. Meningitis can be viral (during hot weather) or bacterial (during cold weather).

Signs of illness:

For children, vomiting, headache, sleep, and a feeling of pain and stiffness at the level of the neck. And for infants, they have a high temperature between (39 and 40 degrees), the signs are slight and do not attract attention, with unwillingness to eat, crying, and swelling in the soft part at the top of the head (fontanelle). And the temperature in general is the result of infections and not a sign of teething.

And when the temperature rises and vomiting, you should consult a doctor because the condition may lead to convulsions, as it is a serious disease that may lead to death.

Complications:

  • Epilepsy
  • Effect on hearing in the long term and possible deafness
  • learning difficulties
  • Brain damage
  • Mobility disability and walking problems

Diagnosis and treatment:

Medicines should not be given to a child before consulting a doctor, especially antibiotics that hinder the diagnosis process by conducting some analyzes, the most important of which is an analysis of the back water to show the extent of the child’s infection with meningitis, and if it is a virus that requires easy treatment for fever.

And when it is bacteria, antibiotics must be given in the hospital in a period that lasts between one and 4 weeks, depending on the type of germ. And the antibiotics must be strong and suitable for the germ, and intravenously.

protection:

In addition to the general rules for maintaining health by spreading the culture of hand-washing among children, there must be collective protection through vaccinations that protect against germs that cause meningitis, such as Haemophilus influenzae and pneumococcal infections. But the meningococcal germ (meningocoque) is much more dangerous because it gives signs of poisoning and serious symptoms.

It infects infants quickly and no vaccination is available for it now in Tunisia. Collective prevention is carried out in the school or nursery by giving an antibiotic for this disease to the environment in which the virus appeared (family and friends).