Meningitis Out-break: Simple Ways To Guard Yourself
Over 400 person have died in the recent out-break of meningitis in Nigeria with Zamfara, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Sokoto and the FCT been the worst hit states in country.
Meningitis is a condition in which the protective membrane (meninges) covering the brain and spinal cord becomes inflamed. This inflammation is usually caused by an infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
Dr. Rowland Aviogbo of Asokoro General Hospital and Public Relation officer of Nigerian Medical Association while speaking with Kapital fm in and interview on the subject matter said meningitis has occurred in different parts of the world but the highest incidence of the disease is found in the ‘meningitis belt’ of sub-Saharan Africa including Senegal, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Nigeria, Niger, Chad
According to the expert, the disease can come on quickly and escalate rapidly, often in 24 hours and it’s important to know the warning signs and to get medical treatment fast. A person diagnosed with bacterial meningitis will be lucky to live, he added.
He said, “the disease thrives in very dry and windy areas which is why the northern states are mostly affected especially during the dry season; the disease is so contagious and spreads faster in crowded areas through saliva droplets and body fluids.”
Testing the spinal fluid according to the doctor is the only way to confirm a meningitis diagnosis, and if it goes untreated, the worst-case scenario is death.
The expert advised that people should
- Avoid overcrowding and sleep in well ventilated places
- Avoid close and prolonged contact with affected persons
- Disposal of respiratory and throat secretions properly
- Practice strict observance of hand hygiene and sneezing into elbow joint/sleeves
- Avoid hand shaking, kissing, sharing utensils or medical interventions such as mouth resuscitation.
Infants and children under five years old and adolescents between 15 and 19 years of age are most at risk. But anyone in the world can get meningitis at any time.