5 things you need to know about meningitis

It’s World Meningitis Day: Here’s everything you need to know to keep bubba safe from this post-infection problem


Meningitis is the inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, called the meninges. It’s usually caused by an infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

1. A baby with meningitis may just appear to be slow due to lack of alertness, irritable, vomiting or feeding poorly. You may not see typical meningitis symptoms – fever, headache, and neck stiffness. Doctors may look for a bulging fontanelle (soft spot on infant’s head) or abnormal reflexes, which can also be signs of meningitis.

        Typical symptoms can appear quickly or over the next few days. Look out for:
·Stiff neck
·Increased sensitivity to light
·Altered metal status

2. Bacterial meningitis is the most severe and common form of meningitis, and causes 120,000 deaths globally every year.

         Most cases are less severe than that and patients are usually able to get better without treatment. However, infants under one month of age – as well as people with weakened immune systems – are more likely to suffer a severe case of the illness. Other meningitis types: fungal (from breathing in fungal spores in the environment), parasitic (picked up from food, water, soil), non-infectious (caused by cancers, systemic lupus, certain drugs, head injury and brain surgery).

3. How is it transmitted?

Both viral and bacterial meningitis are contagious. Bacteria can be passed to uninfected people through the exchange of respiratory and throat infections. Viral meningitis is transmitted when you come in close contact with someone who is infected. 

Learn about the treatment and protection from this scary condition …