All You Need To Know About Meningococcal Disease

There is an ever-increasing amount of information available on the internet, making it a difficult task to find credible sources. The World Health Organization (WHO) has made strides in providing reliable, up-to-date data on vaccines; however, this is not always the case with other information.

One such area that lacks reliable, unbiased information are vaccinations. In fact, there can be so many opinions around vaccination that parents can become confused as to which ones they should vaccinate their children against.

This article aims to provide you with a clear understanding of what vaccines do, why they are important, and how easy it is for parents to protect their children from them.

Meningitis symptoms are also is seen in meningococcal disease so here you will be worried about how you will get to know about it. So for that you have to consult with a doctor whenever you see any of the symptoms such as headache, stomach pain, cramps etc. in all these conditions you have to get a proper check up by a professional doctor in this field.

What is Meningococcal Disease?

Meningococcal disease is caused by the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis and affects both adults and children. It can cause a number of different symptoms including high fever, headache, vomiting, stiff neck, confusion, seizures, or even death.

If left untreated, it can lead to brain damage. However, antibiotics can prevent most cases of the disease.

Symptoms of meningitis usually surface within 24 hours after exposure to the bacteria. This means that if you suspect your child may have been exposed to the infection, then it’s vital that you seek medical attention immediately.

Who Is at Risk for Meningococcal Disease?

Anyone who comes into contact with a person carrying the bacteria can fall victim to meningococcal disease. These people include those who live in close proximity to one another, such as family members and friends, and anyone who engages in any form of intimate physical activity with the infected person.

This includes kissing, sharing food, drinking alcohol, having sex, and touching the infected person. If you’re unsure whether you’ve come into contact with the bacteria, then it’s best to consult a doctor or healthcare worker.

Additionally, babies, infants, pregnant women, and elderly people are also more susceptible to contracting the disease. This is because they are less likely to develop a strong immune system compared to an adult.

How Does Meningococcal Disease Spread?

It spreads when someone sneezes or coughs onto another person, or via droplets in the air. Symptoms often appear within 24 hours of being infected, but this time period varies depending on the severity of the illness.

Once symptoms begin to manifest, the bacteria will move through the bloodstream to the bloodstream. From here, it travels to the brain and spinal cord, where it begins its attack.

How Can I Prevent Meningococcal Disease?

You could reduce your risk of contracting meningococcal disease if you avoid all forms of physical intimacy with an infected person. Additionally, you could avoid the aforementioned activities, although this may prove challenging since these things are sometimes unavoidable.

As mentioned earlier, newborn babies, babies, pregnant women, and elderly people are more prone to contracting meningococcal disease, so it’s especially important that parents take extra care to protect these individuals. This may mean avoiding crowded places like churches and schools.

Another way of reducing your risk of contracting the disease is to get vaccinated. There are two types of vaccine available: quadrivalent and bivalent.

The former protects against strains A, C, Y, and W while the latter protects against B, C, W, and X.

Both vaccines are safe and effective, but the quadrivalent vaccine provides better protection than the bivalent vaccine. For this reason, it is recommended that families opt for the former.

Which Vaccines Are Available?

A number of different vaccines are available for meningococcal disease, including:

  MenACWY – This vaccine covers both groups A and C, along with group W. The vaccine was developed in response to the emergence of strain B in North America.

  MenB – This vaccine covers group B only.

  MenACWY-DT/DTPa/T – This combines the MenACWY vaccine with a diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis vaccine booster.

  MenACWY-CRM – This vaccine contains CRM197, which is a variant of diphtheria toxin used in some vaccines.

  MenC/MenC-TT – This vaccine uses the polysaccharide capsule from group C and the conjugated capsular vaccine from group A

Vaccinations can be administered at any age. However, infants under 1 year old are more vulnerable to contracting the disease, so they should receive the vaccine earlier rather than later.

In addition, there are certain groups, namely pregnant women, babies, and elderly people, who require further protection. They should therefore receive additional doses of vaccine beyond the standard five doses.

How Long Do Vaccinations Last?

Most vaccines last for 10 years. However, this can vary based on individual circumstances. The duration of the vaccine depends upon the type of vaccine, as well as the child’s weight, age, and medical conditions.

For instance, if you have an infant weighing 15 pounds or less who is between 6 months to 2 years old, then he or she would need three doses of vaccine over 30 days. On the other hand, if the baby weighs 17 pounds or more and is older than 2 years, then he or she needs three shots over 60 days.

Similarly, pregnant women require four doses of vaccine over 90 days. Lastly, elderly people aged 65 or above must receive seven doses over 180 days.

If you suspect your child has already been vaccinated, then you can check the vaccination record with your pediatrician. Alternatively, it’s possible to call the clinic directly to confirm this.

How Long After Receiving Vaccines Must I Wait Before Traveling?

The CDC recommends waiting 14 days before traveling overseas. You should also wait until 5 days have passed since receiving your last dose of vaccine. This applies to both the children and adults.

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