Meningitis B is a rare but potentially deadly bacterial infection that can cause inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. It is caused by the bacteria Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B and is one of the leading causes of meningitis in the UK.
Meningitis B is spread through respiratory droplets, such as coughing and sneezing, as well as direct contact with an infected person. Anyone can contract the disease, but those who are most at risk are infants, young children, and adolescents. College students living in close quarters are also at an increased risk.
The symptoms of meningitis B can develop quickly and may include fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, confusion, and a rash that does not fade when pressed. Infants may have different symptoms, such as irritability, lethargy, poor feeding, and a bulging fontanelle.
If meningitis B is suspected, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Treatment typically involves hospitalization and the administration of antibiotics. It is also important to manage symptoms, such as fever and pain.
The best way to prevent meningitis B is through vaccination. The MenB vaccine is offered to infants in the UK as part of the routine childhood immunization program, and it is also available to individuals at increased risk. Practicing good hygiene, such as washing hands regularly and covering coughs and sneezes, can also help prevent the spread of the disease.
In conclusion, meningitis B is a serious bacterial infection that requires prompt medical attention. It is important to be aware of the symptoms and seek treatment immediately if they develop. Vaccination is the best way to prevent meningitis B, and practicing good hygiene can also help reduce the risk of infection. If you have any concerns about meningitis B, speak to your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
Statistics show you are at a significant higher risk of contracting the potentially life-threatening meningococcal B infection. All that socialising increases your chances of coming into contact with meningococcal bacteria commonly found in the noses and throats of the people you meet. The good news is, protection has never been easier.
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