MENINGITIS: Doctor Advises Avoiding Crowded, Poorly Ventilated Areas


In order to avoid meningitis during the hot season, people should avoid being overcrowded and having poor ventilation, according to Dr. Chioma Ofoeki.

Offering the health advice in an interview on Sunday in Abuja, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), she claimed that meningitis can either be contagious or non-contagious, with viruses making up the majority of the contagious type.

She added that bacteria, fungi, and parasites are some additional causes of infectious meningitis.

She continued: “In every human, there are three meninges, which are protective membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. Meningitis is the medical term for this membranes’ inflammation.

“The majority of bacterial and viral meningitis are contagious and can be passed from one person to another by coming into contact with bodily fluids like saliva and respiratory droplets from coughing and sneezing. Therefore, overcrowded and enclosed spaces like dormitories, hospitals, nursing homes, prisons, and daycare centers make it easy for meningitis to spread.”

Ofoekii emphasised that the best defense against some forms of bacterial meningitis is vaccination, and she encouraged people to get immunised and receive booster shots as needed.

She recommended that children, the elderly, people working in high-risk environments, and people traveling to endemic areas should pay special attention to this.

She noted that, particularly in the hot and dry weather, people should practice good hygiene, frequently wash their hands with soap and water, and stay adequately hydrated.

She further advised that people get enough sleep, maintain a healthy diet, and avoid smoking and cigarette smoke.

She listed typical meningitis symptoms to include headache, fever, stiff neck, nauseousness, vomiting, sensitivity to bright light, and confusion.

She added that eating unclean food and recovering from trauma can also lead to the acquisition of specific bacteria.

Ofoekii said: “There is a propensity for seasonal variations in outbreaks and some viral agents are seasonal viruses. Because these seasonal outbreaks are frequent in Nigeria’s hot, dry, and windy climate, heat is not always the direct cause of meningitis.

“Meningitis susceptibility can be increased by any condition that promotes easy organism transmission from person to person or increased access of organisms to the bloodstream.”

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