Meningitis is a contagious infection. Common bacteria and viruses causing it are spread through coughing, sneezing, kissing, sharing toothbrush or cigarettes. Risk increases if one lives or works with a patient suffering from meningitis. These preventive steps may be taken.
Wash the hands- Wash hands often. Children should specially be asked to wash hand frequently and properly.
Stay healthy- Exercise regularly and eat healthy diet to keep immune system strong.
Cover the mouth- When sneezing or coughing, always cover the mouth.
Be more careful during pregnancy- The above measure should be observed carefully in preganancy. Pregnant women should avoid unpasteurized milk and under-cooked meat to reduce the risk of listeriosis.
There are vaccines against some bacteria which may be taken if necessary. They are Hib (hemophilus influenzae B) vaccine, pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, pneumococcal polysacchride vaccine and meningococcal conjugate vaccine. They may be taken by people in consultation with a physician in case of an outbreak of meningitis or persons living with or attending patients with meningitis.
Remember: Meningitis is a serious condition and may prove fatal so prompt medical treatment should be instituted by an expert physician.