Prevent Meningitis in Adults and Children
Meningitis is the result of a widespread infection. Bacteria or viruses that cause meningitis can spread through coughing, sneezing, kissing, or sharing equipment. Some early steps to prevent meningitis are:
- Washing hands
- Practice hygienic life
- Healthy lifestyles
- Closing your mouth when sneezing or coughing
- If you are pregnant, be careful in choosing food
Many cases of viral and bacterial meningitis can be prevented by various vaccines. Talk to your doctor if you’re not sure if your vaccination is up-to-date or not. Available vaccines include:
- MMR vaccine (German measles, mumps and measles): Can be given at 12 months of age, repeat vaccine age 5-7 years
- Pneumococcal vaccine (PCV): Age under 1 year given every two months, over two years is sufficient once
- Vaccination DTaP / IPV / Hib: Protection of Hib bacteria, diphtheria, cough, tetanus and polio virus
Meningitis vaccine is not included in childhood immunization schedule, but this vaccine can be obtained in the world. Consult your doctor if you want the vaccine.
Application of Meningitis Vaccine for Travel
Neisseria meningitis bacteria (meningococcus) are rare in world. Thus, many people do not have immunity to these bacteria. Vaccination is highly recommended for Indonesians traveling to high-risk areas. Areas of high risk or areas of origin of these bacteria are Saudi Arabia and some countries in Africa. Prospective Umrah and Haj pilgrims are required to receive meningitis vaccine before leaving to prevent meningitis.
Visit a place with a high risk of contracting meningitis
It is advisable to vaccinate against meningitis group A, C, Y and W135, if traveling to high-risk areas. Especially if you make a plan like below:
- Staying with local residents in a crowded area to attend Hajj or Umrah in Saudi Arabia.
- Excessive activity in the area of Hajj in Saudi Arabia, becoming a seasonal worker or as a migrant worker.
- Stay longer than a month as a backpacker.
The ACYW135 meningococcal vaccine should be given at least two to four weeks before you travel.
For infants aged between two months to two years, the initial dose of the vaccine should be followed by a second dose of the next three months. Meningitis vaccine is not suitable for infants younger than two months.
When they first vaccinate children under five, vaccines can provide protection for two to three years. A dose of vaccine will provide about five years of protection for adults and children over the age of five.
Adult and adult antibodies that have been given antimeningococcal vaccine can survive for 10 years. However, if the person is constantly exposed to bacteria, then within five years need to be re-vaccinated.
Side Effects of Vaccination
One in ten people injected with the ACWY vaccine will get pain and rash around the injection wound. Usually these side effects will last for one to two days. Urgent reactions rarely occur, but a mild fever may occur. This condition is more common in children than adults.