What is Meningitis?
Meningitis is an infection of the meninges—the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. The infection can be caused by several different sources, and complications can be extremely serious. Fortunately, it is possible to be vaccinated against some of the most dangerous forms of meningitis.
Types of Meningitis
Bacterial meningitis can be deadly and requires immediate medical attention. Vaccination against several types of bacterial meningitis is possible. Speak with a Summit vaccination specialist to learn more about whether your itinerary puts you at risk.
While not as severe as bacterial meningitis, viral meningitis can still be very dangerous. Vaccination against some types of viral meningitis is also possible.
This rare type of meningitis typically occurs in people with compromised immune systems who have been exposed to fungal spores in their environment.
Parasites can also cause meningitis but occur much less frequently than viral and bacterial forms.
Primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) is very rare, but extremely serious. It is caused by a free-living microscopic ameba that lives in warm soil and water.
Sometimes other illnesses, head injuries, or brain surgery can cause swelling of the meninges as well.
What Are The Symptoms Of Meningitis?
According to the CDC, the symptoms of meningitis include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle aches and pains
- A stiff neck
- Cold hands or feet, and mottled skin
- In some cases, a rash that does not fade under pressure
How can I protect myself from Meningitis?
In Canada, there are approved vaccines for meningitis B, and meningitis ACWY.
Meningitis B occurs typically in high density populations and people often get vaccinated for it when living in university dorms or other communal situations.
Meningitis ACWY is a vaccine intended more for travellers, particularly those going to the “meningitis belt” in Africa.
A Summit Travel Consult will be able to address any concerns about meningitis, as well as see if your itinerary puts you at risk.