Meningococcal infection is a very dangerous disease, which is characterized by an acute course and the possibility of the development of severe complications, even death.
In addition, it has an extremely rapid development of severe forms, and the late initiation of treatment is a huge risk to life. Therefore, it is very important to know how the disease manifests itself.
Causes of disease
The cause of the disease is direct contact with a sick person or a carrier of the causative agent, that is, airborne path. The greatest spread of infection occurs among children, most often up to 3 years (up to 80%). And it is extremely dangerous for babies of the first year of life who are most susceptible to the development of severe complications. Meningococcus can affect both the central nervous system with the development of purulent meningitis and other internal organs, causing meningococcal sepsis.
The main time of the disease is winter and autumn. The positive point is that the pathogen dies in the external environment after a maximum of 30 minutes and is very sensitive to its factors, such as temperature, air humidity, etc.
The greatest spread of infection occurs among children, most often up to 3 years. And it is extremely dangerous for babies of the first year of life who are most susceptible to the development of severe complications.
Symptoms of meningococcal infection in children
Symptoms of meningococcal infection in children and adults may be absent with asymptomatic carriage. But in many cases can manifest development meningococcal nasopharyngitis – inflammation in the nasopharynx, not different from the usual with acute respiratory infections. Nasal congestion, cough, sore throat, and slight fever may occur.
Such a condition lasts up to a week, like a normal ARVI, and may end in recovery or provoke the development of a severe form:
Meningococcal sepsis. It is characterized by extremely rapid manifestation. His symptoms are:
- The sharp rise in temperature, which is difficult to bring down antipyretic;
- Vomiting, thirst;
- Difficulty breathing, increased heart rate;
- The appearance of a rash in the first-second day. It spreads through the body very quickly. A sign of particular severity of the process will be the appearance of a rash on the face. You can find on the Internet a photo of the symptom of meningococcal infection, such as a rash in children, to know what it looks like.
- Temperature up to 40 degrees, chills;
- Very bad headache, pain in the eyeballs;
- Stiff neck muscles (head thrown back);
- Convulsions: in children under one year old, the earliest symptom, in older children, this is a very dangerous symptom;
- Loss of appetite, great thirst, prolonged vomiting;
- In infants, swelling and ripple of the fontanel on the head, its dropping during dehydration.
Meningoencephalitis – inflammation of the meninges. Signs:
- A sharp rise in temperature, vomiting, headache;
- Stiff neck and back muscles;
- Loss of consciousness;
- Disorder of swallowing and speech.
Mixed form with manifestations of both meningitis and sepsis.
The main factor in recovery is the immediate start of treatment.
Meningococcal nasopharyngitis when detected is treated:
- Antibiotics (rifampicin, levomitsetin, tetracycline);
- Gargling with furatsilina or soda solution;
- Rinsing the nose with antiseptics.
With the development of any of the complications, the patient is subject to urgent hospitalization. If the disease is detected at a local doctor’s office, he should immediately give first aid by administering an antibiotic and a hormone (chloramphenicol, prednisone), then the patient is urgently sent to the hospital.
Clinical recommendations for meningococcal infections in children prescribe treatment with high doses of antibiotics, coupled with hormonal drugs and symptomatic treatment of antipyretic, antihistamine drugs. Therapy is prescribed to each patient individually, taking into account the type of complication, the severity of the condition, age, etc.
It should be noted that long-term treatment, and even after discharge, there may not be a complete recovery and restoration of all body functions. In children who have had this disease, appetite and sleep disorders, fatigue, irritability, confusion are very often observed.
At home, rehabilitation therapy is carried out: vitamins, nootropics, drugs for brain vessels. Obligatory observation by a neurologist under 3 years of age in children who have had purulent meningitis. In children’s institutions (kindergartens, schools) admission is possible not earlier than 3-4 weeks after discharge.
Fortunately, cases of this disease are not frequent. However, if you find out about the possible spread of the infection, you should take preventive measures:
- Do not visit crowded places, especially indoor events;
- If an infection is detected, a thorough examination and follow-up of children and adults in contact with the carriers, the possibility of their admission to children’s institutions after negative test results;
- Upon contact with a sick person, it is necessary to undergo a course of prophylactic treatment with antibiotics and immunoglobulins;
- Mandatory isolation of patients.
In this video, you will learn more about this disease, how to recognize it, treat it, and how effective vaccine prevention will be.
As you can see, meningococcal infection is an extremely dangerous disease that threatens the life and further health and development of the baby, even in the case of recovery from serious complications.
The main thing is to consult a doctor in time for correct diagnosis. In the early days, the disease can be confused with a cold, chickenpox or flu.a-i.pw