Prevention from Meningitis

Given the medical scenario of today, preventing meningitis is rather simple. However, not all preventive measures are foolproof. There are vaccines that may be taken only on recommendation of your health care expert. Some of these preventive measures include the following:

  • The MMR (Mumps, Measles, Rubella) vaccine
  • The Meningitis vaccine
  • The PCV (Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine)
  • The DTaP/IVP/Hib vaccine: This vaccine provides a certain amount of protection against polio, tetanus, Hib virus, whooping cough, and so on.
Parents must ensure that their children receive these important vaccines. In case you are not sure or you have any doubts with regard to the same, you must speak to your doctor about it. It is essential for anyone who wishes to travel to get themselves vaccinated against the meningococcal bacteria groups A, C, W135 and Y before undertaking the journey. This is all the more important if you intend to travel to places that are considered to be high risk areas such as Africa and if you fit into any of the following criteria:

  • Stay extending beyond a period of 30 days.
  • If you intend going backpacking.
  • If you are putting up with the locals in that area.
  • If you are attending the Haj or any other pilgrimages in Saudi Arabia.
  • If you intend to undertake work in the Haj area of Saudi Arabia.
Some of the other basic preventive measures include the following:

  • It is important to ensure that you wash your hands with a disinfectant soap and water.
  • Stay fit and healthy by eating right and engaging in moderate activity.
  • Covering your mouth when you cough and sneeze to some extent helps control the spread of the disease, as it limits the dispersal of germs to an extent. Besides, basic etiquette demands that you cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
A note of caution; do not self-medicate as meningitis is a disease that could cost you your life. Consult your doctor at the earliest. 
Frequently asked questions
  1. Justine Miranda, Allan R. Tunkel, Strategies and New Developments in the Management of Bacterial Meningitis, Infectious Disease Clinics of North America, Volume 23, Issue 4, December 2009, Pages 925-943, ISSN 0891-5520, 10.1016/j.idc.2009.06.014.
  2. Charles S Bryan, Kenneth L Reynolds, Linda Crout, Promptness of antibiotic therapy in acute bacterial meningitis, Annals of Emergency Medicine, Volume 15, Issue 5, May 1986, Pages 544-547, ISSN 0196-0644, 10.1016/S0196-0644(86)80990-8.
  3. Swati Waghdhare, Ashwini Kalantri, Rajnish Joshi, Shriprakash Kalantri, Accuracy of physical signs for detecting meningitis: A hospital-based diagnostic accuracy study, Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery, Volume 112, Issue 9, November 2010, Pages 752-757, ISSN 0303-8467, 10.1016/j.clineuro.2010.06.003.