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Who is at risk of contracting meningitis: three mysteries of a dangerous disease

Date: June 17, 2024 Time: 04:54:13

By itself, meningitis is a disease that contains several mysteries that have not yet been fully solved by scientists and doctors.

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According to the latest data, on the morning of July 7, 10 cases of meningococcal infection were recorded among employees of the Ozon warehouse in Yekaterinburg, two of them were fatal. Rospotrebnadzor assured citizens who order products on the market: it is impossible to catch the disease from packages. The causative agent of infection is transmitted by airborne droplets, and outside the human body, on the surface of objects, it very quickly loses its viability. However, meningitis itself is a disease that contains several mysteries that have not yet been fully solved by scientists and doctors. Alexander Myasnikov, a well-known doctor, TV presenter, chief physician of the Moscow City Clinical Hospital named after ME Zhadkevich, spoke about this on his Telegram channel.

1. Riddle number 1: who is the causative agent?

According to Rospotrebnadzor, Ozon employees in Yekaterinburg were crippled by an infection caused by the Neisseria meningitides bacterium. However, this is by no means the only causative agent of meningitis.

– The number one cause of bacterial meningitis is pneumococcus. Meningococcus ranks second. In elderly and debilitated people, listeria is a common cause, explains Dr. Myasnikov.

At the same time, several types of meningococcus alone are known. There is also viral meningitis. The identification of the causative agent is important to prescribe the correct treatment.

2. Riddle #2: Are bacteria always with us?

“Many of us carry meningococcus in our nasopharynx throughout our lives and feel great at the same time!” Myasnikov describes another puzzling fact. But at some point, an event occurs, due to which a non-conflicting microbe-cohabitant turns into a deadly enemy.

The reasons for the transition of the “peaceful” meningococcus to an attack on the body, according to the doctor, are most often:

– flu or other respiratory infection,

– surgery on the organs of the ear-nose-throat system,

– Injury to the nose.

3. Riddle number 3: some carriers, others get sick.

It also happens that a person has a “domesticated” meningococcus, he gets along with the “owner” without problems. But when transferred to another, the same microbe causes the entire disease. It is impossible to predict that this will happen, but there are “tips”.

This usually happens when meningococcal carriers come together in a close, compact team, but each has its own strain of bacteria, says Dr. Myasnikov. “An unwanted exchange is starting. Transmission is by air, with close contact”, says the doctor.

At the same time, in the risk group, both people who have contracted ARVI, who have nasal lesions (see above), and those who smoke, have congenital features that weaken the immune system. And also those who have had their spleen removed (it is responsible in the human body for hematopoiesis, immunity and blood supply).


Do I need to be vaccinated against the infection and to whom?

Dr. Myasnikov recommends that children and people over the age of 60 get the meningococcal vaccine. They are at especially high risk of dangerous complications from the infection.

You should also get vaccinated if you’re going to Africa: Nigeria, Sudan, Chad, Guinea, all countries located directly below the Sahara, advises Myasnikov, who lived and worked on the African continent for a long time. “There, for some reason, outbreaks of meningitis are especially frequent and regular, every 7 years. These countries are called the “meningitis belt,” says the doctor.

Immunologist, Doctor of Medical Sciences Andrei Prodeus clarifies that in the group at highest risk of serious complications of meningitis are children under 2 years of age, young people between 15 and 25 years of age, and the elderly. The first vaccination, he says, is recommended for babies in their first year of life. Then – revaccination at 15-17 years. In the future, to maintain immunity, it is worth vaccinating every 5-7 years.


From free pneumococcus to all children, from meningococcus – according to epidemiological indications

According to the order of the Ministry of Health of December 6, 2021 N 1122n, today vaccination against meningococcal infection is carried out according to epidemiological indications. That is, the vaccines are free for children and adults “in foci of meningococcal infection caused by meningococcal serogroups A or C, in endemic regions, as well as in the event of an epidemic caused by meningococcal serogroups A or C.” In addition, from meningococcal infection, persons subject to conscription for military service are vaccinated.

Regarding vaccination against pneumococcus, which can also be the causative agent of meningitis, vaccinations are required, regardless of epidemic indications, for all children at the age of 2 months, then at 4.5 months and at 15 months.

In addition, according to epidemic indications (that is, “with threat of infection”), they are vaccinated against pneumococcus:

– children from 2 to 5 years old;

– persons subject to conscription for military service,

– people over 60 years of age suffering from chronic lung diseases;

– older people living in social service organizations.

In other cases, if you wish, you can be vaccinated at your own expense or free of charge, if the regional vaccination programs so provide.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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