Meningococcal infection is an acute infectious disease caused by bacteria. It has various clinical presentations from asymptomatic carrying, nasopharyngitis (inflammation of nasal and pharyngeal mucosa) to meningitis (inflammation of meninges) and meningococcal sepsis (blood poisoning).
Source of infection – diseased individuals and so called healthy carriers, i.e. people who don’t have any clinical signs of disease.
Transmission - droplet contact (at coughing, sneezing, talk). Microbe penetrates through mucous membranes of respiratory ways at prolonged and tight contact with contaminated individual or carriers (sleep close to each other, eat together, and sit at the same classrooms).
From the moment of contamination to the start of disease 1 to 10 days can pass. Sick person is contagious from the first days of disease. Children and teenagers have more chances to get this disease, because in this age they often attend cinema theatres, night clubs, which leads to creation of multiple risk factors such as gathering places, smoking, sharing drinks etc.
For meningitis acute beginning is typical: suddenly becoming heavy headache, vomiting, after 6-15 hours rash, fever can rise up to 39-40°C, chills, general weakness, pain in back and extremities.
Important: disease can occur in light and that is why very insidious form imitating comparatively harmless diseases like influenza, tonsillitis, cold etc. When organism will create favorable conditions meningococci will go directly to brain’s meninges and cause inflammation.
Meningococcemia – is a severe form of disease. Typical symptom is purple bluish rash on the background of high body temperature and intoxication.
All diseased are hospitalized to isolation hospital.
Medical observation for 10 days is made for those who were in contact with diseased. And all of them should undergo antibiotic prophylaxis.
Steps that should be done for prophylaxis
- At the appearance of any first symptoms of disease with catarrhal signs (reddening of throat, increase of body temperature, headache, weakness) visit an emergency room of isolation (infectious) hospital or the closest healthcare organization.
- Never do the self-treatment!!!
- Limit participation in different events where lots of people can gather, avoid visiting swimming pools, play grounds, shopping malls etc.
- Practice proper hygiene; do not forget to wash hands after going to restroom and before a meal. Do not share food, drinks, ice creams, sweets and chewing gums.
- Often ventilate your space, make a daily wet cleaning.
- Limit visiting places of gathering (entertaining events).
- Specific prophylaxis is made with meningococcal vaccine.
Published on: 2019-05-24, 11:42 AM