This Sunday (24) features World Meningitis Day. History is remembered to highlight the importance of prevention, vaccination, diagnosis, treatment and improvement of support measures for those dealing with the effects of disease.
In Pernambuco, the latest epidemiological bulletin made available by the state health department, which looks at data updated on March 25, shows that five cases meningococcal meningitis this year.
Among them, three cases have been confirmed: one in Recife, another in Tamandari (south coast) and one more in Kaitis (Agristi). In addition, among those who have been notified, one has already been neglected and another is under investigation.
Among the confirmed cases of meningococcal disease this year in Pernambuco are an infant under one year of age and two patients aged 10 to 14 years.
In 2022, so far, no deaths have been recorded meningococcal meningitis.
In the same period in 2021, five cases meningococcal meningitis, one and four have been confirmed. During 2021, 22 cases of meningococcal disease were reported. Of this total, 11 are confirmed and 11 thrown.
In 2021, in the same period, two deaths of patients residing in Agua Prieta (Mata Sol) and Iguarache (Sertão) were recorded.
What is meningococcal meningitis?
Meningitis caused by the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis is an infection of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. It is considered a serious illness that can have sequelae of the patient and may lead to death within 24 hours.
Due to its seriousness and rapid development in the clinical picture, it is important for the population to know more about meningococcal meningitis.
Discover the myths and facts about meningitis
There is only one type of meningitis
myth. The Meningitis It can be caused by several infectious agents, such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses. In general, the Bacterial meningitis Alarming, among them, we highlight meningococcal meningitisWhich is caused by bacteria Neisseria meningitidis (or meningococci) reach the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
Meningococci have 12 specific types. Five of them are the most common: A, B, C, W, and Y. When we look at all age groups, the serogroup with the highest incidence in Brazil is C.
In children of the first year of life and children under the age of ten, The serogroup B It is the main cause of disease.
Meningococcal meningitis is not a common disease, but it is serious.
fact. The meningococcal meningitis It can cause serious consequences, such as amputation of limbs, and may even lead to death. Within 24 hours, the disease can change the course of a patient’s life: the rapid development and severe lethality of meningococcal meningitis are among the infection’s most worrying characteristics.
Like COVID-19, meningococcal meningitis can be transmitted by respiratory droplets.
fact. Meningococci, the causative bacteria meningococcal meningitisIt can be transmitted from person to person by contact with droplets or respiratory secretions Coughing, sneezing and kissingfor example.
Meningococcal meningitis affects infants and children only.
myth. Despite its effect on children, especially those under the age of 5, Meningococcal meningitis can affect all age groups. In addition, up to 23% of adolescents and young adults can be carriers of meningococci and can transmit the disease even without getting sick, and they are called asymptomatic carriers of the disease.
The initial symptoms of meningococcal meningitis can be confused with other infectious diseases
fact. you Early signs and symptoms Give meningococcal meningitis (Including Fever, irritability, headache, nausea and vomitingIt can be confused with other infectious diseases.
Later, the patient may have Small purple spots on the skin, stiffness in the back of the neck, sensitivity to light.
If not treated quickly, the condition can progress to C.Confusion, seizure, shock, generalized infection, multiple organ failure and risk of death.
There is no cure for meningococcal meningitis
myth. If the disease is diagnosed quickly and appropriate treatment is started, then Most patients can be completely cured. However, even with these steps, meningococcal meningitis Lethality is high and can leave sequelae.
If left untreated, the disease is fatal in 20% to 30% of cases, and among survivors, 10% to 20% suffer some effects such as brain damage, hearing loss, or amputation.
Vaccination is the main form of prevention for meningococcal meningitis.
fact. The vaccination It is the main form of disease prevention. Currently, there are vaccines to prevent the five most common serogroups or types in Brazil: A, B, C, W, Y.
In health centers vaccination against the disease caused by meningococcus c Free for children, in doses given at 3 and 5 months, and a booster dose at 12 months, which can be given to children under 5 years old.
In addition, in order to increase protection against meningococcal disease, the National Immunization Program (PNI) of the Ministry of Health, until July 2022, has expanded free vaccination against meningococcal C for all children under 11 years of age (up to 10 years, 11 months and 29 days) who have not yet received an immunizing agent.
Vaccine against Serogroups A, C, W, and Y Also available in PNI for Teenagers between 11 and 12 years old.
In the Private vaccination clinicsVaccine against serogroup B. Recommended doses are given for 3 to 5 months, and further doses between 12 and 15 months. However, it is available in the age group of 2 months to 50 years.
Private clinics still offer the ACWY vaccine, which is available from two months of age.
Vaccines are available for other types of meningitis.
fact. In addition to meningococcus, meningitis can also occur bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae (or pneumococcus)infectious agent pneumococcal disease.
The National Immunization Program provides immunization with the 10-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV10) at 2 months and 4 months of age, with a booster dose at 12 months, which can be applied to children under 5 years of age.
In private networks, the 13-valent conjugate vaccine (PCV13), with a dose schedule similar to PCV10, and the 23-valent polysaccharide pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PPV23), which is used for children over 2 years of age with a health problem risk of pneumococcal disease.
For children with special clinical indications, pneumococcal vaccination is available at Special Immunological Research Reference Centers (CRIEs) – public units with the infrastructure and logistical infrastructure to serve individuals with special clinical conditions, such as immunodeficiency, chronic diseases and transplant recipients, among others. Other cases.
Another important cause of meningitis, in addition to meningococci and pneumococci, is bacteria Haemophilus influenzae type bwhich can also be prevented through vaccination.
Additionally, other forms of prevention include avoiding clumps and maintaining well-ventilated and clean environments.
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