How To Prevent Your Baby From Meningococcal
Meningococcal disease is not of common occurrence but can have serious consequences if not identified and treated within a short period of identification. This disease is commonly referred to as meningitis. The medical term ‘Meningitis’ implies a condition where the protective layer over the brain and the spinal cord swells. This condition is caused as a result of bacterial infection called ‘meningococci’
Who Are At Risk?
Babies and kids below the age of five are at a higher risk of getting infected by the bacteria causing meningitis. The symptoms of meningitis in babies include irritability, high temperatures, vomiting or diarrhea, drowsiness, irritation to light, convulsion and large bruises.
Prevention And Treatment Of Meningitis In Babies
Vaccinations are available to prevent the severity of meningitis in babies. High-risk babies from the age group of two- eleven years are provided with one dose of MCV4 or meningococcal conjugate vaccine. In cases of babies with spleen disorders, babies are provided with two dosages of the second vaccine -meningococcal polysaccharide.
Avoid The Spread Of Disease
Almost all children carry the meningococci bacteria in them without producing any side effects. These bacteria cannot survive outside the body nor do they infest animal bodies. The disease does not spread by casual contact but with prolonged contact with an infected person.
One way of preventing Meningitis in babies is by avoiding the spread of the disease. This can be done by maintaining strict personal hygiene. Avoid sharing the baby’s things with others. Wash hands every time you handle your baby.
Enhance The Immune System Of The Baby
Mother’s milk is known to possess anti bacterial properties. Infants who are breast fed for longer periods of time have been found to resist the bacterial infection much more than those babies who are not breast fed in their growing years.
The immune system of the baby can be enhanced with the help of a balanced diet that is rich in nutrients. A good amount of sleep and hygienic surroundings are the ways in which the immunity can be strengthened.
Treatment Of Meningitis In Babies
Meningococcal infection in babies is mainly treated by prescribing antibiotics like penicillin. Penicillin serves as the best treatment as it has been developed from bacteria. When treating babies with penicillin, care has to be taken that the baby does not show allergic reactions to penicillin and secondly, the correct dosages are given as per medical prescription.
Finally, for preventing your baby from suffering from the consequences of the dreaded disease, you will have to ensure that the symptoms of the disease are well understood. While infants cannot complain of symptoms, look out for blotchy complexion, photophobic irritation and inactivity as you ascertain whether your baby has been infected or not.
The bacteria causing meningitis spreads very rapidly and the symptoms can get worse within a few hours. It is therefore advisable that as soon as the first symptoms of Meningitis in babies appear, you should consult a doctor for immediate action.