Awareness Of Meningitis Disease

Hello Mothers!

For me, the term “Mother” is synonymous with a huge responsibility. As a mother, I am always on my toes, doing my best to protect my children from anything and everything that could harm them. I prefer to be cautious before rather than resort to medication later, hence, I make sure to give them all the vaccine doses and I am pretty sure you do the same.

I try to put up a strong front during the vaccination period, as it becomes a tough time handling my son Hetarth. Is the situation the same for you all?

While I agree that it can be difficult for a mother to watch her child go through pain and experience discomfort during the vaccination, it is worth it because vaccines can provide protection against so many dangerous diseases.

One such disease is meningitis. I wasn’t aware of this disease earlier. It was only when my pediatrician mentioned that it was the perfect time to give Hetarth his first dose of Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine or MCV (a vaccine that prevents meningitis) that I got to know about this disease. I then started looking up this disease. I did online research, spoke to many healthcare professionals and questioned Hetarth’s pediatrician about it.

After doing all this, I came to the conclusion that meningococcal meningitis is a rare, but potentially devastating bacterial infection disease. It causes inflammation in the fluid, and membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. The impact of this disease is so great that it can kill the patient within the first few hours of the onset of its symptoms, and even if it’s cured, it can have serious lifelong side effects. This disease has an unpredictable effect and can attack anyone, at any age, anywhere in the world. It is caused by bacteria and it commonly presents itself as an infection in the brain (meningitis), and/or infection in the blood (blood poisoning).

Friends, you should also always be alert and check for its symptoms. Its symptoms are similar to those of flu such as irritability, high fever, vomiting, nausea, and loss of appetite. If you also witness symptoms like stiff neck, severe headache, discomfort with bright light, joint pain, drowsiness, and confusion in addition to the symptoms mentioned above, then do not waste a single minute as a diagnosis is a must.

If the diagnosis is positive then you need to take proper precaution as it is a contagious disease which spreads through coughing, sneezing and direct contact with the infected person’s droplets.

As I mentioned earlier, prevention is better than medication and in the case of meningitis, the preventive measure is vaccination. Safeguard your child from meningococcal meningitis by getting him vaccinated with the MCV. The Indian Academy of Pediatrics recommends the MCV in two doses, with the first dose to be given at 9 months and the second dose at 4 years.

After doing my proper research, I was convinced about the necessity of this vaccine. And therefore, I have now booked the vaccination appointment for my son. I thought that I should share the risk factors and create awareness about this dangerous disease among all the new moms so that they can be alert and opt for a healthy life for their kids, rather than death and long term disability. If you are convinced about the importance of this vaccine, I urge you to consult your pediatrician and get your child vaccinated with MCV.

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Author: Jigna Shah

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the blog content are independent and unbiased views of solely the blogger. This is a part of a public awareness initiative on meningitis supported by Sanofi Pasteur India. Sanofi Pasteur bears no responsibility for the content of the blog. One should consult their healthcare provider for any health-related information. This article is meant to help create awareness and spread knowledge. Any decision regarding your health and child’s health should be done after consultation with your doctor. Read my full disclosure here.

While all efforts are made to keep articles updated, the speed of research in these fields means the information often may change when more research knowledge is available. The blog or the author should be in no way held responsible in that case. Written after consultation and discussion with Dr. Abhijit Misra (MD Pediatrician – Healthwealthbridge board of advisors)