Meningitis is when the fluid and the membranes or meninges around the brain and spinal cord become inflamed due to viral or bacterial infections. While viral meningitis is the least serious and most common, bacterial meningitis is rare and is caused by several meningococcal bacteria, including A, C, W, and Y. However, the Meningococcal Reference Unit (MRU) of the national UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) recorded 65 verified cases of invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) in the country from October to December 2021.
The recent number of IMD significantly increased during the same period in 2020, when 19 cases were confirmed. However, the cases were 65% lower than the 185 cases reported in 2019. In addition, doses of meningitis vaccination could reduce the cases further.
To prevent getting infected with Meningitis ACWY, older teenagers and young adults may take advantage of the vaccination programme against meningococcal infection. For example, suppose you plan to get your meningitis vaccination in Northampton, meningitis vaccination in Northolt, meningitis vaccination in Streatham, or meningitis vaccination in Sydenham. In that case, these are the things you need to know.
Why is Meningitis Dangerous?
Meningitis can rapidly turn fatal if not treated immediately. In addition, the infection can cause septicaemia or life-threatening blood poisoning that could permanently damage the nerves and the brain.
What are the Symptoms of Meningitis?
Once a person becomes infected with the meningococcal virus or bacteria, they may suddenly develop the following symptoms:
- General feeling of being sick
- Stiff neck
- Photosensitivity or sudden irritability to bright lights
- Unresponsiveness or drowsiness
Some patients also feel joint and muscle pain, vomiting, and cold hands and feet. Others also develop rashes or spots on the skin.
When to Seek Medical Help
The NHS recommends getting medical attention as soon as possible if you suspect you or someone in your household has meningitis. However, it would be ideal not to wait until rashes develop.
You may call 999 to contact an ambulance or head towards the nearest A&E in your place if you think that you or your kid might have the disease. However, it would also be best if you could call NHS 111 or your trusted GP if you remain unsure about the severity of your condition or if you get exposed to an individual with a confirmed case of meningitis.
Who is Eligible for MenACWY Vaccine?
People in the UK born anytime between 2 July 1996 to 1 July 2002 must already get the vaccine from their school clinics or their GP. Those who are also about to start their university education should get vaccinated at least two weeks before classes start.