General Practice 2022

Meningitis C: what é, symptoms, transmission and treatment

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Meningitis C: what é, symptoms, transmission and treatment
Meningitis C: what é, symptoms, transmission and treatment

Meningitis C, also known as meningococcal meningitis type C, is a type of bacterial meningitis caused by the bacteria Neisseria meningitidis that can be fatal if not treated properly. This infection can happen at any age, but is more common in children under 5 years of age.

The initial symptoms of meningitis C are quite similar to those of the flu and, therefore, the diagnosis can be more difficult, delaying the start of treatment and increasing the likelihood of developing sequelae, such as deafness, amputation and brain injuries. See more about meningitis and possible complications.

Thus, it is recommended that whenever there is a suspicion of meningitis C, the child should be seen by the pediatrician so that the symptoms are evaluated and the necessary tests are carried out, in order to confirm the diagnosis and start the appropriate treatment. as soon as possible.

Main symptoms

The most characteristic symptom of meningitis C is stiffness in the back of the neck that results in difficulty putting the chin to the chest. Also, are symptoms of meningitis C:

  • High fever;
  • Headache;
  • Big or small spots on the skin;
  • Confusion;
  • Sore throat;
  • Vomiting;
  • Nausea;
  • Drowsiness;
  • Difficulty waking up;
  • Joint pain;
  • Irritation;
  • Photophobia;
  • Tiredness;
  • Lack of appetite.

When noticing these symptoms, it is important to refer the person to the hospital as soon as possible so that treatment can be started and the chances of complications decrease.

The diagnosis of meningitis is made from the observation of the signs and symptoms presented by the person and is confirmed by the lumbar puncture exam, which consists of the laboratory analysis of a small amount of fluid that is removed from the spinal cord, the LCR.

How to confirm the diagnosis

The initial diagnosis of meningitis C is made by the doctor based on the analysis of symptoms. Confirmation, however, can only be made through laboratory tests, such as blood count, lumbar puncture and analysis of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) or cerebrospinal fluid, in which the presence of Neisseria meningitidis is investigated.

After the examination, the doctor can confirm the disease and, thus, prepare an intervention plan as quickly as possible in order to avoid possible complications, such as neurological changes, loss of vision or hearing, paralysis and delay in motor development, for example.

How it is transmitted and how to avoid it

Transmission of meningitis C occurs through direct contact with the respiratory secretions or feces of a person infected with the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis. Thus, coughing, sneezing, and saliva are ways of transmitting the bacteria, and it is recommended to avoid sharing cutlery, cups and clothes with infected people.

The easiest and most effective way to prevent meningitis is through vaccination, which can be administered from 3 months of age. The vaccine for this type of meningitis is called Meningococcal C Vaccine and is available at he alth posts. This vaccine has a duration that varies between 1 and 2 years and, therefore, should be boosted in children up to 4 years old and in adolescents between 12 and 13 years old. Learn more about the vaccine that protects against meningitis.

However, the habit of washing your hands frequently, as well as avoiding contact with apparently sick people also helps to reduce the likelihood of infection.

How the treatment is done

Treatment for meningitis C is done in hospital and with the use of antibiotics, since the transmission of this bacterium to other people is very easy, and it is necessary to keep the person in isolation until there is no risk of contagion. In addition, hospitalization is important for the medical team to monitor the patient's he alth status and thus avoid complications.

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