Today, April 24, 2019 is observed as World Meningitis Day by the Confederation of Meningitis Organisations. This year’s theme is “Life After Meningitis,” which will focus on “the after effects of meningitis, whether that is bereavement after losing someone to meningitis or managing a wide range of consequences #AfterMeningitis.”
The Meningitis Research Foundation defines meningitis as an “inflammation of the lining around the brain and spinal cord- the meninges.” A more life- threatening form of the disease is called septicaemia, which is blood poisoning caused by the germs that cause meningitis. However, septicaemia can also occur without meningitis.
The Mayo Clinic explains that swelling from meningitis often causes the most tell-tale symptoms which are intense headaches, high fevers, confusion, vomiting, and a stiff neck. It is advisable to seek immediate medical attention as meningitis can kill within 24 hours in certain cases. There are different forms of meningitis and some people do make complete recoveries and go on to live full lives with no side effects. However, for other survivors of meningitis, there are lifelong after-effects such as, “memory loss, deafness, loss of sight, epilepsy, paralysis, limb loss, organ damage, and brain damage.” Of course, there is no greater loss than those who have lost loved ones to this devastating disease.