Meningitis

What it is:

Meningitis is a bacterial disease spread through the air by droplets of contaminated respiratory secretions (e.g. coughing or sneezing) or through person-to-person contact (e.g. kissing, sharing drinking glasses, intimate contact). Symptoms of this disease are sudden fever, intense headache, nausea and vomiting, and stiff neck. Treatment includes strict isolation and antibiotics with supportive measures for shock and other complications.

How you get it:

Travelers going to sub-Saharan Africa or Saudi Arabia are at the highest risk. Widespread epidemics are known to occur, especially during the dry winter months. The disease is highest among diverse populations mixing or living in crowded conditions (i.e., religious pilgrimages, military institutions, students living in dormitories).

How to protect yourself:

High - risk areas for contracting Group A meningococcal meningitis includes certain African coutries and Saudi Arabia.

Where is it common:

High - risk areas for contracting Group A meningococcal meningitis includes certain African coutries and Saudi Arabia.

Who should get Meningitis vaccine:

Travellers staying in high risk areas for extended time periods, such as 1 month or more. Adults with poor function of the spleen or spleen removed if travelling to a countries with increased risk. Travellers engaging in high-risk holidays or work, such as backpacking or living in rural communities or seasonal workers in the Hajj area. People attending the Hajj (Mecca) and Umrah pilgrimages in Saudi Arabia.

What to expect after vaccination:

Adverse reactions to Meningitis immunization are usually mild and confined to the first few days after immunization. The most common reactions are mild, transient soreness, and redness at the injection site. Severe reactions (such as lips swelling, tongue swelling, diffculty breathing, etc) following vaccination are very rare.