Once we are older than 2 we are capable of suffering from meningitis. This is a condition which manifests through headaches, fever and a stiff neck, these being the most common symptoms. Basically, meningitis is an inflammation which affects the surrounding of one's brain and spinal cord. This takes place due to an infection, which is, in most cases, viral, even though it can be fungal or bacterial as well.
Thus, meningitis has many faces and some variants of this disease may last for a limited amount of time and disappear while some other types can be deadly. This being said, you need to pay attention to the symptoms of meningitis and react timely in order to avoid life-threatening complications.
Dangers of Meningitis
Since meningitis is an infection, it can be contracted from exposure to viruses or bacteria which are scattered around by coughing, sneezing, kissing, sharing dishes, toothbrushes or cigarettes. So, if you happen to work or live with someone who suffers from meningitis or carries the infection, you need to protect yourself well in order to keep the infection at bay.
Prevention of Meningitis
First and foremost, you need to ensure proper hygiene. The best way to start this is by washing your hands regularly, especially after using the toilet, handling something dirty or petting animals. Teach your children proper hygiene as well, ensuring safety from meningitis.
Secondly, you need to live a healthy life in order to maintain a strong and illness-resistant immune system. For this purpose, eating healthy is crucial. Eat vegetables, fruits and healthy fats. Moreover, combine this diet with a physically active life, exercising at least three times a week. Pregnant women should be very careful with food, avoiding undercooked meals at all times, as well as cheeses made from milk that have not been pasteurized.
Additionally, whenever you need to cough or sneeze, make sure you cover your mouth and your nose, saving others from potential infections.
Finally, you can protect yourself from meningitis infection by vaccination. Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine is necessary to be administered since the age of two months, protecting you from meningitis caused by the bacteria of the same name. Also, Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) and Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV) are recommended to be taken by all people who may have weakened immune systems or have not yet been vaccinated. Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4) should be given to children older than 11, protecting them from meningitis caused by Neisseria meningitidis.