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Meningitis (Menigococal Meningitis)


Bacterial infection that causes meningitis,(an inflammation of the brain membranes).

Can occur world wide, but more prevalent in the 'meningitis belt' which covers consists of Sub-Sahara African countries, often worse during dry seasons, and potentiated by war, and famine.

A vaccine is present against the A, C, W, and Y forms of their disease.

At this point there is no vaccine for the B subtype although researchers are working on it.

This vaccine is mandatory for travelers during the Haj to Mecca. Saudi Arabia used to use the C type vaccine, but uses W-135 vaccine now.

Symptoms incubate after 2-10 days.

Cold like symptoms develop into malaise, fever, headache, neck irritation and a rash.

The rash is indicator of widespread blood infection (septicemia).

It is a collection of bleeds under the skin.

If suspected meningitis MUST be treated with penicillin (or other suitable antibiotics) as soon as vaccine is recommended for all individuals over 2 months.

Vaccine is given to younger individuals, but the response may not be great.

Treatment for menigococal infection is to treat with penicillin.

If penicillin is given prior to admission, patient will have a 50% better prognosis.

If menigococal disease is suspected patient should be given penicillin (benzyl penicillin).

BEDSIDE GLASS TEST: Is used to detect menigococal infection.

Skin will not blanch from pressure. If menigococal is suspected it must be treated immediately.

Menigococal infection produces fever and a non-blanching rash.

Meningitis Links

CDC http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/meningococcal_g.htm

WHO http://www.who.int/csr/disease/meningococcal/en/

OMNI (UK) http://omni.ac.uk

Health Protection Agency http://www.hpa.org.uk/infections/topics_az/meningo/menu.htm

Immunization Action Coalition http://www.immunize.org/mening/

National Meningitis Association http://www.nmaus.org/

Meningitis Foundation of America- Meningitis in College Students http://www.musa.org/