[Report] Medical experts have advised Nigerians to always be on the look out for symptoms which causes meningitis, a disease which has killed over 282 people in the country within two months.
Experts have advised Nigerians to seek early attention when ill especially if they are suspicious of meningitis because the disease is curable if presented early.
Talking of the symptoms to look out for in children, Adefunke Babatola, a paediatrician, has said that high body temperature, irritability and excessive crying, headaches, for those old enough to know what they are experiencing, photophobia (not able to look at lights) convulsion and falling into coma, which she said is common in children should be watched.
“Some predisposing factors are upper respiratory problems, abnormal posturing, aching at the back, stiffness of the neck, poor feeding, bulge in the soft spot on top of a baby’s head (fontanel) and stiffness in a baby’s body and neck, among others.
“The diagnosis is not too difficult but care needs to be taken because it sometimes exhibits symptoms similar to cerebral malaria,” she added.
In order to prevent the spread of the disease, a public health expert, Humphrey Okoroukwu, advised Nigerians to live in ventilated environments during hot seasons as the disease is seasonal and common during the hot dry season.
Mr. Okoroukwu, a Deputy Director Public Health, Health and Human Services in Abuja, said meningitis is one of the diseases that is associated with hot weather and normally occurs between November and April annually.
“Ventilation is key, keeping the environment clean is very important and prompt visit to the hospital, access the facilities being provided like vaccination which is ongoing. People should avail themselves of the ongoing opportunity.
“There are some people who are healthy carriers of the disease, they spread it, they look healthy, but they do not know they have it,’’ he explained.
It should be noted that according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, meningitis is an inflammation (swelling) of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord known as the meninges. This inflammation is usually caused by an infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
Meningitis is usually caused by bacteria or viruses, but can be a result of injury, cancer, or certain drugs.Please Follow Us @ThePageNg