Monday, 20 February 2012

Rwanda : Meningitis is a killer disease to watch

Meningitis is inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, known collectively as the meninges due to bacterial infection. This disease is fatal and it can kill a person in less than two days if the patient is not rushed to the hospital and in fact it is contagious.
Meningitis is a killer
A meningitis patient
Its symptoms usually come on quickly, and may include: Fever and chills; mental status changes; nausea and vomiting; headaches, sensitivity to light and noise and rolling him/herself when he/she is going to sleep so as to avoid much pain.
Dr Eugene Niringiyimana explains that one young girl in Mbazi sector has passed away at Kabutare Hospital in Huye district due to meningitis.
The doctor cautioned the disease can be handled if reported earlier, and that residents should be aware of the symptoms so that avoid the disease and seek immediate medical care before it is too late.
Dr Niringiyimana said that a person can be infected with the disease through inhaling breath from another one infected. Meningitis can affect a person depending on other diseases a person has that reduces the immunity to fight infections like AIDS and diabetes.
People with implants like heart, kidneys and others are at risk of getting meningitis due to the weakened bodies. This is because bacteria that cause meningitis are all around and when the body is not strong enough to fight them, a person gets infected.
Besides inhaling the infected air, other risks of infection, include- getting in contact with bodily fluids or blood of a meningitis patient through a cut.
Dr Niringiyimana said, “For a person to be infected with a certain disease, it depends on the amount of microbes that cause it that are in that same person’s body and the strength the body has to fight them.”
When this disease breaks out, it is better to vaccinate people around that area so as to increase people’s immunity to fight it. There is a vaccination that lasts 3 years and another one that lasts for 8 years and above. All these vaccinations are given to people between 2 and 55 years of age.
People above 55 years of age have special vaccination because the other forms of vaccination can weaken their bodies instead of strengthening them. This is because vaccinations are made in microbes that cause the same kind of disease that they are meant to cure in low quantities which provide the body to make white blood cells that fight that disease.
An old person’s body doesn’t have resistance against disease and so are the children below two years; however the children who were vaccinated against pneumonia are capable of fighting against meningitis.

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