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Is Meningitis Contagious

Updated on March 14, 2010

The name “meningitis” does strike a chord when it comes to the names of some of the most common infections of children all over the world. This infection affects children of all ages and the most common concern of parents over the world is- Is meningitis contagious? Well, before coming to the answer to the above question it is important to know more about this infection and its causes and effects.

Meningitis is an infectious disease that causes the inflammation of the tissues that surround the brain. A child who is suffering from Meningitis will have bouts of fever, flu and cold. This is the reason why a parent fails to distinguish meningitis from other common ailments. There are cases when the above symptoms do not surface at all and such cases are even more dangerous than the ones that have visible symptoms. There are many people that act as carriers and it is for this reason that this infection goes undetected. The infection generally ranges from mild symptoms to even permanent disability or even death.

The above affirmatively answers the question- “Is Meningitis contagious?” and at the same time gives us the insight that it is not an infection that should be ignored. When a child is afflicted with meningitis he or she must be taken to the doctor immediately for medicines. The viral meningitis is highly contagious and it is likely to spread through the respiratory secretions of the infected child. Since children are not strict with basic hygiene and sanitation they are the ones that are mostly susceptible to this infection. They are the primary carriers and this is the reason why school going kids are the ones who suffer from this infection the most.

In the case of bacterial meningitis the transmission is generally spread through physical contact like touching, sharing utensils, etc. The symptoms of meningitis do not occur immediately and they generally manifest after 3 to 4 days. It is not possible for the virus to overcome the immune system of the body in most cases and this is the reason why the virus remains inside the body. Though it does not affect the immune system there are high chances of the virus to be transmitted to another person. If the immune system of the child or even a person is weak he or she will be infected. Once infected the child or the person has the chance of transmitting the infection to others easily.

In addition to knowing the answer to the question-“Is meningitis contagious?” it is also important to ensure that necessary precautions have to be taken by the infected child or person. You need to be careful with sanitation and hygiene and teach children good habits. When you are infected with meningitis you should cover your mouth with your hand or a tissue and ensure that you do not share it with others. It is also mandatory that you do not share any kind of utensils or glasses with the infected person so that you do not contract the infection yourself.

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