April 11, 2014
-- Long Island, NY (April 2014) This year, April 24th marks World Meningitis Day. Started by the Confederation of Meningitis Organizations, World Meningitis Day aims to raise the global profile of meningitis, emphasize the importance of vaccination, and provide support to those dealing with the symptoms of the disease. Delmont Medical Care recognizes the importance of educating the community on the disease and supports the CoMO in their efforts by sharing tips to avoid contracting the disease and how to respond in the worst case scenario.
Meningitis is inflammation of the meninges. The meninges is the collective name for the three membranes that envelop the brain and spinal cord. There are three types of meningitis: Bacterial, Viral, and Fungal. Bacterial meningitis is aggressive, develops quickly and can lead to permanent disability or death in a matter of hours. It is fatal in approximately 50% of cases and accounts for around 170,000 deaths around the world each year. The infection spreads from person to person through actions such as kissing, coughing, sneezing, sharing food or utensils. Children who attend daycare or preschool are at greater risk of contracting bacterial meningitis.
Viral meningitis is the most common but least severe and many patients recover without any permanent damage. Fungal meningitis causes severe infections but occurs much less frequently. It is not contagious and spreads by inhaling fungal spores from the environment.
Meningitis can be difficult to identify early on in infection. The main signs of contracting the disease are similar to the common cold and develop quickly over the course of just a few hours. Look for symptoms such as vomiting, drowsiness, stiff neck, light sensitivity, and headache as well as altered consciousness. The best way to prevent bacterial meningitis is through vaccination. Vaccines prepare the immune system by exposing the body to a germ so that it is better able to fight an infection when it occurs. The vaccines available protect against all three major causes of bacterial meningitis.
“Meningitis is a dangerous and fatal disease. People should be educated on its potential dangers and learn how to prevent infection, not just for their health, but for the health of future generations,"
said Dr. Jacqueline Delmont, the Founder and CEO of Delmont Medical Care.
Dr. Jacqueline Delmont is a board certified Internist who has built a career serving low-income and underprivileged patients across Long Island and Queens. Dr. Delmont's medical team works closely with minority-led not-for-profit organizations. Dr. Jacqueline Delmont has established herself as a prolific lecturer and speaker, sharing her insights on a wide variety of health-related, women-related and community issues.
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