Friday, February 1, 2013


Lately, the term Meningococcemia has been buzzing around. Although there were no confirmed outbreaks, being a mom with a talent to panic, I tried reading and researching on the danger of the said infection.
Here are the things I would like to share about what I found out about Meningococcemia…
 What is meningococcemia?
Meningococcemia is a bacterial infection of the blood due to Neisseria meningitidis. This bacterium is most famous for causing meningococcal meningitis which may also be present in meningococcemia. Bloodstream infections are sometimes called "blood poisoning" or septicemia. This is concerning because it is more contagious and typically infects older children and adolescents.
How we get Meningococcemia
As I have read, this type of infection, as like many other infections is transmitted through respiratory secretions. Good example of this is when someone sneezes or coughs out. The secretions that comes out of the mouth carries these bacteria and if one is unlucky enough, may enter through the nose or mouth.
Children 5 years old up around 15 years of age may be especially prone to this disease. As children age, they slowly gain immunity to meningococcal strains by coming into contact with milder strains of the bacteria. However, because this immunity is imperfect, there is still possibility for adults to get meningococcemia.
What are the symptoms of this disease?
After an average incubation period of three to seven days (range one to 10 days), infected patients initially experience fatigue, fever, headache, and body aches, similar to those experienced by people with influenza, including swine flu or bird flu. Shaking chills may be present. Rash is common and appears like small red dots associated with low platelet counts or a bleed into the skin associated with vasculitis. The rash may appear anywhere on the body, even on the palms or soles or inside the mouth.

In addition to the rash, physical examination reveals a fast heart rate and often a low blood pressure and other signs of shock. Laboratory examination shows increases in white blood cell counts and may show low platelet counts. The bacteria may spread to the heart, causing myocarditis. In severe cases, multiple organ You can also check out my post about Hand, foot and mouth disease to see the difference.

systems may fail, including the kidneys, lungs and airways, liver, or heart. Uncommonly, the bacteria may cause a low-grade bloodstream infection with fever, joint pain, and rash that lasts one to three weeks.
If you are inflicted with this type of disease, intavenous antibiotics are needed to treat Meningococcemia. The laboratory will test the bacteria to see which antibiotics will work best, but treatment will need to start before the results of these antimicrobial sensitivity tests come back. Therefore, doctors usually select antibiotics that are known to work against most strains of N. meningitidis.
Meningococcemia can be prevented in several ways. People who have come into close contact with an infected patient should strongly consider taking antibiotics to reduce the risk of disease. These antibiotics are usually given in pill form, although sometimes a shot is needed if the organism is resistant to common oral antibiotics. Close contact usually means household contacts, day-care or child-care contacts, or those who have been exposed to potentially infected saliva in the week before the patient got sick. The antibiotics eliminate carriage of the bacteria and may also be used in the final step of treatment for infected patients.
I tried to get some pictures of those that are affected by the disease but I couldn’t bear posting the worse cases in my blog, so I just picked out the milder ones… You may want to check them out just so you can see how extensive the damage can be for kids… Made me so sad to see those that are afflicted…
For me, still, prevention is the best cure. Getting our body in good shape as well as the kids’ will go far. Vitamins may still be the utmost need for kids especially vitamin C since the body is unable to generate this type of vitamins.

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