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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Summer's Coming -- Beware of Meningitis!

Summer is one season that most people look forward to all year long, especially this year following a very tough winter. Looking forward to fun in the sun also means protecting your children from some of the dangers that summer brings with it. One of those dangers is meningitis.

What is meningitis?

Meningitis is an inflammation of the lining around the brain and spinal cord that is caused by either a virus or bacteria and leads to infection. It mostly affects children, teens and young adults. One type of meningitis is usually not serious but the other type can be deadly.

Two types of meningitis

Viral meningitis - is caused by a virus. It is common and in most cases not serious; however, it can produce fever that won't go away and seizures.
Bacterial meningitis - is caused by bacteria and is very serious, leading to brain damage and death.

How can you tell the difference between the two?

You can't. So, don't take a chance. If your child shows any of the following symptoms, take them to the doctor immediately. A physician can run tests to determine which type your child has.

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Stiff and painful neck
  • Seizures
  • Rash
  • Cough and difficulty breathing
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