While for children between 9 months and 4 years there is the vaccination against meningococcal meningitis, even for the strain W135 that it presents a higher degree of danger, it is good to know how to detect this condition on time.
Expert: Renzo Tassara, pediatrician Clinic Avansalud
Care to prevent meningococcal meningitis
The concern of the authorities aims to combat the meningitis produced by the strain W135, which is syndicated as the most dangerous. Meningococcal meningitis is the infection caused by a bacteria that inflamed the meninges, membranes that cover the brain. This box can occur at any age, but their aggression is more intense in infants and children under the age of four years, so it is essential to know the causes and ways to prevent this infection that could cause death if not caught in time.
There are many carriers asymptomatic that are spreading the disease among the population. Thus, the bacteria remain for varying times in the nasopharyngeal mucosa, allowing the persistence of the infectious agent.
“The most common manifestations are fever intense, with a marked commitment of the state in general and lesions in the skin of red – vinous and variable size, appearing more aggressive and rapid in children and infants,” says dr. Renzo Tassara, pediatrician Clinic Avansalud.
Infections by meningococcus -like many other infectious diseases that affect the human being-, have a cyclic evolution over the years, and there are always a number of endemic cases that can change and increase by several factors, among them, the climate and environmental.
In Chile, historically we have observed a clear predominance of the B strain of meningococcus, but in this opportunity, the strain has shown a highly significant increase and that is predominating in the latter cases, in Santiago, is the strain W135 which presents with increased aggressiveness and a more rapid evolution in patients.
“It has been seen that this strain had increased significantly in the neighbouring countries and it was expected that with the growth of communications and travel abroad of the people, to grow the possibilities of infection in our country,” says the specialist.
Through correct ways of hygiene and care, especially with infants and minors, they can prevent meningococcal meningitis. For this reason, some recommendations of the specialist Clinic Avansalud are:
- Wash frequent hands before and after contact with food or people.
- Keep the house and the environments in general, ventilated.
- Avoid places crowded.
- Do not expose young children to places that are crowded.
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
- To avoid the exchange of saliva through pacifiers, bottles, toys or other utensils that the children are carried to the mouth.
- Maintain a temperature appropriate body, avoiding chills and colds.
The vaccine is an important element in the prevention of this disease, but its greatest effect will be seen in the long term, since there is a latency that is significant, between his arrival in Chile, administration of the population and development of immunity. The real benefit, is very likely to be able to demonstrate during the next year.
In case you have any suspicion of the disease, it is necessary to consult to an emergency service as soon as possible to assess the patient and confirm or rule out the suspected, because the prognosis depends on the precocity of diagnosis and timely treatment.