Yesterday was celebrated the World Day Against Meningitis (inflammation of the meninges, membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord), a disease that affects people of all ages, most of them children.
Alfredo Robalino, pediatrician neonatologist at the Roberto Gilbert Hospital, indicates that the disease can be caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites, which can be transmitted from one person to another via respiratory or throat secretions, and can be spread through kissing, sneezing, coughing, sharing cutlery or glasses and co-existence with many people in a small place.
The doctor said that in infants this disease can be recognized by symptoms such as high fever, malaise,loss of the sucking reflex and loss of appetite in children, while adults could experience with fever, intense headache, stiff neck and vomiting.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) meningitis caused by meningococcus bacteria could be fatal in 50% of patients who do not receive treatment or not treated in time. Even when a patient is diagnosed on time and receive adequate treatment, 5% to 10% of them die.
To combat this bacteria, which can leave physical sequelae like mental retardation, deafness and limb amputation, arrived in Ecuador, several weeks ago, from France, a vaccine against meningococcus that is only available in the private sector.
Robalino, similar to other specialists recommend vaccination to prevent this condition. Today, as part of the national vaccination plan children are immunized against Pneumococcus in health centres.