Meningitis is an inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. Meningitis can occur when the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord become infected. It can affect anyone, but it is most common in babies, young children, teenagers, and young adults. The inflammation caused by meningitis cause symptoms such as headaches, fever, a rash, stiff neck, and drowsiness. Symptoms can appear in any order and not all the systems will occur. Meningitis can cause life-threatening blood poisoning and result in permanent damage of the brain and nerves.
How is it spread?
Bacterial meningitis: Is spread by germs from one person to another. People can have bateria in or on their bodies without being sick, these people care know as carriers. Most carries never become sick but can still spread the bacteria to others.
Viral meningitis: You can get viral meningitis by having close contact with someone who has the infection. Viral meningitis is often less severe than bacterial meningitis. Most people who get infected by viral meningitis get better without any treatment.
Babies should receive most of the meningitis vaccine for free through the NHS.You can also speak to our qualified staff at touchwood pharmacy in Streatham and Sydenham. Our staff will be able to answer any questions and concerns you have about your baby’s vaccine schedule.
Meningitis B vaccine: This vaccine offers protection against Meningococcal group B Bacteria. It is the most common cause of bacterial meningitis in the UK an Ireland. This bacterium is responsible for about 9 in every 10 meningococcal infection in young children. Meningococcal is a very serious infection that can lead to sever brain damage, amputation and sometimes death. It is recommended for babies ages 8 weeks, followed by a second dose at 16 weeks and a booster shot at 1 year. It is as a single dose injection into your baby’s thigh and can also be given the same time as 6-in-1 vaccine and pneumococcal vaccine.
As with all drugs, there can be some side effects associated with the MENB vaccine. The side effects for MenB vaccine include soreness/redness/swelling of the skin at the injection site, fever, lack of appetite, muscle soreness, irritability, sleepiness, and rashes. You can ease your babies’ side effects with the recommended dose of Calpol for your babies age every 4 hours and lots of cuddles.