Meningitis B or bacterial meningitis is one of the diseases that most concerns parents. Although nowadays it is less common, an outbreak appears from time to time in schools or nurseries that sets off all the alarms. And it is one of the most serious conditions because it can cause the death of babies and children. In addition, it is a pathology that is contagious.
In we are going to explain how meningitis B is spread so that you can take measures in the event that you have an affected person in your family or in your environment.
What is meningitis B
Before we start talking about how meningitis B is spread, it's important to know what this disease is. This pathology is characterized by being an inflammation of the meninges by a bacterium.
This meningitis is one of the most serious there is and requires urgent medical measures to be taken. In general, the person must be hospitalized for hospital treatment. It is a disease that must be taken seriously because it can cause death.
This type of meningitis is less common in adults (although there may be some isolated cases), having a special incidence in children. At present, childhood cases have decreased a lot, but it is not a disease that is part of those considered eradicated.
Symptoms of bacterial meningitis
Meningitis B presents a series of symptoms that are easy to confuse with those of other diseases such as influenza in children, although there are also unequivocal signs that you have this pathology. These are indications that are much more evident in the case of babies.
Symptoms of bacterial meningitis in infants and children
- Rejection of shots
- Difficulty waking up
- Delay or difficulty reacting to any stimulus
- Bulging or inflamed forehead
- Muscle stiffness, especially in the neck
- Red spots on the body
Symptoms of bacterial meningitis in adults
- Pain in the joints and muscles
- Widespread discomfort throughout the body
- Cold in the extremities
- Small redness that appears all over the body
How you can get meningitis B
The main form of transmission of meningitis B is by air, going on to infect the meninges or membranes that act as protectors of the brain and spinal cord. Transmission occurs through the airways when in contact with respiratory secretions from infected people. That is, they are situations in which the patient coughs or sneezes or, simply, by his own breathing.
Normally, bacterial meningitis is not spread by casual contact, although it is true that people who live with a sick person have a higher risk of contracting it and getting sick because continuous contact is needed.
However, there are a number of day-to-day acts that must be careful because they can transmit the bacteria and be an important channel of infection if these situations and acts are performed continuously:
- Kissing a person with meningitis B: The bacteria is present in their saliva. This act, really, is one of the most dangerous, especially when kisses are performed with tongue.
- Sharing cutlery: food or glasses because there may be traces of saliva from the sick person in them.
- Use other objects: or items used by the infected person such as a toothbrush.
How you can NOT get meningitis B
Although we have already commented that casual contact with a person who has meningitis B does not imply the contagion of the disease, there are situations in the day to day that can generate certain doubts and in which, in reality, there is no danger:
- Casual physical contact: like shaking hands, for example, carries no risk.
- Funerals: Attending the burial of the deceased by meningitis does not carry any risk because the person does not breathe and, consequently, does not release bacteria. In any case, the funeral act lasts less than six hours, so it would not be dangerous in any way.
- Sharing a space for a short time: this does not pose any risk either. It is necessary that you are exposed more than six continuous hours with the sick person so that you can get
Does meningitis B develop if you have the bacteria in your body?
An important fact to keep in mind when talking about meningitis B, is that not all people who have been infected with meningococcus develop this pathology. In fact, bacteria can be in the oropharynx for quite some time before being eliminated by the person's own immune system.
However, it is important to know that, even if the disease does not develop, you can be a carrier of it. These people can thus transmit the bacteria to others with whom they live or are in permanent contact. This is an especially important fact because, when you have the bacteria without developing the disease, there are no symptoms that allow you to know that you are a carrier of it.
After reading this information, you may be interested in this other article on How to strengthen the immune system naturally.
Is meningitis B cured? – Treatment
Luckily, meningitis B is cured. Treatment of this meningitis is carried out with antibiotics, which should be prescribed by a doctor depending on the infection. It is important to go to the specialist as soon as possible to take the medication quickly and avoid complications, sequelae or death.
With these explanations about how meningitis B is spread, you can already take the necessary measures in your environment in the event of a case. From we always recommend that you consult with the clinical specialist to indicate the most suitable guidelines.