Ways & How

how to prevent meningitis

how to prevent meningitis

Meningitis can easily strike a chord of panic, especially in the hearts of parents, because of its seriousness. What is meningitis? Meningitis occurs when membranes covering a person’s brain and spinal cord are inflamed. This happens due to infection coming from various sources that include some viruses and bacteria. Seeing that it can be caused by many sources, are there ways to find out how to prevent meningitis or avoid it altogether? The following may help.

  1. Get vaccinated against meningococcal disease. This vaccine is routinely given to children and teens. It is also helpful for anyone who has had exposure to a meningitis outbreak, is traveling to a place where the disease is prevalent, whose immune system is damaged in some way, or whose spleen is impaired or missing.

  2. Stay away from infected people. People whose breath contains the meningococcal bacteria spread meningitis. The bacteria cannot survive for long outside the human body, but it is easily caught, especially when there is prolonged contact with an infected person.

    Someone can catch meningitis from a person who has it even 24 hours after that person has started taking antibiotics. If you know you had close and lengthy contact with such a person, better consult a doctor as to whether or not you also need to take antibiotics. It goes without saying, avoid kissing an infected person.

  3. Be careful about personal hygiene. The spread of this disease, as well as other contagious diseases like it, can be greatly hindered or prevented by observing simple hygienic practices. Wash hands thoroughly and frequently with soap and water. Be sure the sources of your food and beverages are clean, and that food is prepared cleanly. Keep anything that touches your nose and mouth to yourself: drinking and eating utensils, tissues, towels, handkerchiefs, food, cosmetics and nasal sprays. Cover your nose and mouth in the presence of sick or ill people.

  4. Watch your diet to ensure that your health and immune system are not compromised. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, because these are a rich natural source of vitamins and minerals. Drink lots of water and get enough rest and sleep. Exercise regularly to boost your immune system, keep your body toned and fit, and strengthen your cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Consider taking vitamins and supplements to further boost your body’s immunity against bacterial attacks, especially in the winter and spring.

  5. If there has been an outbreak and you get a fever, cold or flu, assess your symptoms for meningitis. These include feeling ill and suddenly getting a headache, pain in the neck, stiffness, rashes, and photophobia. Consult your health care provider immediately if this happens.

  6. Do not take earaches for granted. Meningitis can develop from an earache or ear infection that’s left untreated. This is especially true for children. Again, monitor your symptoms and follow your doctor’s advice closely, particularly pertaining to medication and the right dosage.

  7. Give up excessive alcohol intake. Alcohol makes a person more susceptible to meningitis, aside from other health complications. Although smoking does not have a direct connection with meningitis, it does weaken the lungs and respiratory passages, and in that vein should be avoided as well.

Many ways can be employed to prevent meningitis. Most of it is just plain common sense and the usual safety precautionary measures. Getting a vaccination, keeping healthy, getting regular exercise, eating a balanced diet, and monitoring illnesses and possible symptoms will help you on how to prevent meningitis. It will also help keep you safe from other health risks as well.


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