Meningococcal meningitis in kids When to ring the alarm bell

Meningococcal meningitis is one disease that might turn fatal if not treated at the right time. Caused by a bacterium termed as Neisseria meningitides, it usually affects children. Both infants and teenagers fall prey to this disorder. The onset of the disease happens so fast that parents might not even realise how sick their kids really are. Though it usually gets initiated with an infection at the upper respiratory tract, the symptoms vary from person to person. Sore throat is commonly associated with this disorder. In some cases, a purple rash is spotted at the neck region.

In children, the early symptoms of Meningococcal meningitis are too similar to flu, that parents often provide them with fever medications.  Beware; severe headache, fever, sore throat and lack of energy might all be symptoms of meningitis as well. In some kids, the initial symptoms will be aching joints and stomach pain.  In most cases, parents commit a deadly mistake by continuing with flu medicine and waiting for the rashes to appear to confirm it as a case of meningitis. Rashes might be a later symptom and in some kids, it might not even appear at all.

If your kid suddenly falls ill, be watchful for any irregular blister or spot on any part of his body. Even reddish pinprick-like marks should make you cautious. If sudden fever, nausea or vomiting is followed by a rash or rash-like appearance, it is certainly a case of medical emergency. Tiredness or drowsiness, dizziness, backache etc are also found in some children affected by meningitis.

Certain common meningococcal symptoms that are spotted in babies are; rise in body temperature with cold hands and feet, poor appetite, high pitched crying, blank facial expression, unwillingness to be handled, arching neck etc. In some infants, the soft portion at the top of the head gets bulged as a result of meningococcal meningitis.


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