What is bacterial meningitis?
Bacterial meningitis is a serious and potentially fatal disease that affects the brain and the spinal cord. If not detected and treated early, it can cause severe complications and may lead to death.
Why you should get concerned of bacterial meningitis?
Bacterial meningitis cases have been reported in a number of regions in Ghana. Deaths related to bacterial meningitis have also been reported.
How does bacterial meningitis spread?
Bacterial meningitis is spread:
• When an infected person comes in close and prolonged contact with non-infected person through: coughing, sneezing and kissing.
• Living in close quarters such as crowded settings, sharing eating or drinking utensils with an infected person.
How long does it take to show that you have the disease after exposure
When infected the disease takes between 2 and 10 days to show the symptoms.
What are the Signs and symptoms of bacterial meningitis?
Anyone who has fever and headache and any of the following:
• Neck pains
• Neck stiffness
• Confusion (Inability to think and act)
• Bulging of anterior fontanelle (swelling of the soft spot of baby’s head under one) or
Sudden unexplained death
Is there treatment for bacterial meningitis?
Yes, with appropriate antibiotics
How long does treatment take?
Treatment depends on how early you report when you are ill. It may take about 14 days.
Are there vaccines for meningitis?
There are vaccines for certain types of meningitis. But not all can be used in outbreak situations.
How to reduce the risk of getting bacterial meningitis
• Avoid overcrowding
• Avoid close contacts during sneezing and coughing
• Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing
• Sleep in airy rooms.
• Make sure your doors and windows are open
• Drink plenty of water
• Frequently wash your hands with soap under clean running water
Report to the nearest health facility if you have fever, headache and neck pain
What you should do if you have concerns
• Report to the nearest health facility if you have fever, headache and neck pain
Source: Ghana Health Service