Wanted: Meningitis

By Noa Larsen


Meningitis is a bacterial infection of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord.
Seen mostly in Spring and Winter. Spread through the mucus released when people with bacterial infections sneeze or cough.

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Most commonly goes after people with compromised immune systems, including children under 5, adolescents between 15 and 25, and the elderly. Can infect anyone.

Effects the brain and spinal cord.

May take 2 to 10 days to show symptoms once infected.

Extremely contagious.

Most common injuries done to victim

  • High fever
  • Sleepiness
  • Difficulty waking up
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Stiff neck
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lack of thirst
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Severe headache
  • Leg pain
10 percent of people carry the meningococcal bacterial and up to 60 percent of people carry the pneumococcal bacteria which cause Meningitis.

Bacteria is located harmlessly at the back of the nose and throat and can only be transported by kissing, sneezing or coughing.

The bacteria can only survive outside the body for a short period of time.

  • One in 10 victims will die, and one in seven of those who survive will be left with permanent disability such as loss of limbs, blindness, deafness and brain damage.
  • Students are thought to be more at risk because the carriage rates tend to be higher due to the close proximity in which they live on University campuses
  • Viral meningitis is more common in summer, bacterial meningitis in winter.
  • Most people have a natural resistance from it
  • The meningococcal septicaemia rash is caused by blood vessels leaking and little blood blisters appearing under the skin. As the illness progresses and more damage is caused to the blood vessels, the spots can develop rapidly into purple bruising.

Most Effective weapons against the pathogen

  • Hand Washing
  • Healthy Diet
  • Exercise
  • High Dose Antibiotics (do not work on viral infections)
  • HIB, Meningitis C, and Pnaumococcal vaccines are available to protect against certain types of bacterial meningitis.
  • There is no vaccine to protect against all strains of the disease, including Meningitis B, the most common.

Can be fatal if not treated immediately