Following the deaths recorded so far over the fresh outbreak of meningitis, there is a need for the general public to have critical information about the disease.

The Federal Government announced recently that the death toll from the fresh outbreak of Meningitis in Nigeria has claimed 328 lives.

Efforts are being made to stop its spread. The Federal government has met the World Health Organisation (WHO) to discuss strategies to stem the tide.

Here are some facts about the disease

1.) There Are Multiple Forms of Meningitis

Meningitis can be caused by bacteria, a virus, or even fungi on certain occasions. Being able to recognize the cause of the infection that is swelling up the brain, brain stem, and spinal cord is critically important. The bacterial version of meningitis is the most deadly, accounting for the deaths of over 120,000 people around the world every year.

2.) Prompt Diagnosis and Treatment Isn’t A Guarantee For Survival

It is possible for someone to die from meningitis just 24 hours after the initial symptoms of the disease take place. About 10% of the cases of meningitis prove fatal even when treatment is received immediately. Another 20% of people will receive some form of permanent brain damage or disability. This means only 70% of people with meningitis recover after encountering its symptoms.

3.) Anyone Can Contract Meningitis At Any Time

Meningitis is known to affect kids under the age of 5 and teens between 15-19. But the nature of the disease means that it can affect anyone at any time. It does not matter where someone lives in the world. However, Meningitis may be more frequent in low income areas and where vaccines are not as available.

4.) Vaccines Can Stop Its Spread

One of the most effective ways to stop meningitis before it ever starts is to be vaccinated against the disease. That’s why it is recommended as a part of every child’s vaccination program. By exposing people to the dead and dying bacteria that cause the deadliest forms of the disease, children receive a higher level of protection against all bacterial forms of the disease.

5.) Smoking Can Actually Increase The Risk Of Meningitistis

Meningitis is often spread through personal contact, which is why smoking causes many people to become carriers of the virus or bacteria. Although seasonal factors can also contribute to the ability of people to pick up the disease and spread it, smoking is the #1 way that people increase their chances of picking up meningitis.

6.) Increasing Risk in Developing Countries

More cases of meningitis are found in developing countries that suffer from conditions of poverty, population overcrowding, and limited access to vaccines. Those that have survived symptoms of meningitis are likely to suffer long term health effects such as deafness, brain damage, learning difficulties, seizures, and limited physical activity and abilities.

7.) Transmission Of the Disease and Prevention

One of the top ways to prevent symptoms and risks of contracting meningitis is to become vaccinated. Other prevention tactics include hand washing frequently, exercising regularly, maintain a stable immune system, and covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough.

Meningitis can be very deadly, but with proactive supports and knowledge of its effects on the human body, more people can survive their encounter with this silent killer.