Meningococcal death: young child dies of infectious disease
In Hesse, a small child died of meningococcal infection. The local health authority calls on all people who have had contact with the child to receive prophylactic antibiotic treatment.
Death from meningococcal infection
A meningococcal infection (type B) has occurred in a daycare center in the core community of Lindenfels in the Bergstrasse district (Hesse). According to a message from the Bergstrasse district, the sick child died on Friday. According to the information provided by the district health office, "all necessary measures were taken immediately". Accordingly, "all named persons who had contact with the sick child were identified at the weekend." It goes on to say: "These were strongly recommended to receive prophylactic antibiotic treatment in order to rule out the risk of another meningococcal disease." there is no further suspicion.
Bacteria are usually transmitted by droplet infection
Meningococci are bacteria that settle in the nasopharynx of humans and, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), can be detected there in about ten percent of the population without any clinical symptoms.
The pathogens occur worldwide, "in Europe especially in the spring and winter months," wrote the district of Bergstrasse in a leaflet.
They are most commonly transmitted by droplet infection. When talking, coughing or sneezing, the bacteria escape into the air in small droplets from the nasopharynx and can be inhaled from a short distance.
In addition, the pathogens can be transmitted as a smear infection even in close contact with the sick, for example by touching the nasal secretion. Outside the body, the bacteria die quickly.
Infection often leads to blood poisoning or meningitis
According to health experts, two forms of meningococcal disease can occur individually or together:
“Meningococcal diseases develop as meningitis in about two thirds of the cases. In about a third of the cases, the course is characterized by sepsis, ”the RKI writes on its website.
The onset of illness is usually very sudden and rapidly progressing.
Seek medical help quickly if symptoms appear
An infection can lead to symptoms such as headache, stiff neck or nausea.
Other symptoms of meningitis include fever, sensitivity to light, chills, and a lowered level of consciousness, such as severe sleepiness or drowsiness.
Basically everyone can get a meningococcal infection. However, it most often affects infants in the first year of life, small children or adolescents.
“It usually takes three to four days between the infection and the onset of the disease. However, the incubation period can also be in the range of two to ten days, ”says the Bergstrasse district.
If a meningococcal infection is suspected, the sick need immediate medical attention! The infection is treated with antibiotics. Vaccination against the deadly disease has been available for several years. (ad)