On Tuesday 24 April 2012, the Confederation of Meningitis Organisations (CoMO) and its global members are encouraging individuals, families and communities to learn the signs and symptoms of meningitis, the importance of urgent treatment of the disease, and that prevention is available through vaccination against some forms of meningitis as part of its annual World Meningitis Day.
The global awareness day has grown over the past three years and now reaches across the globe from North and South America, through Europe to the Middle East, into the Indian subcontinent and throughout South East Asia and the Far East to Australia to join hands across state lines, country borders and continents.
Every year more than 1.2 million people are affected by meningitis. Bacterial meningitis is the most severe and common form and it causes approximately 120,000 deaths globally each year.
Even with prompt diagnosis and treatment, approximately 10% of patients die and up to 20% or more sustain permanent damage and disability.
This can be prevented!
The most severe forms of meningitis can be prevented with vaccines. For many years now safe and effective vaccines have been used to protect against the three major causes of bacterial meningitis, commonly known as meningococcal, pneumococcal or Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib).
Meningitis is an inflammation of the brain and spinal cord, and can be the result of infection by bacteria, viruses and fungi. Bacterial meningitis is the most serious type of meningitis, and it is often associated with a potentially life-threatening blood infection (sepsis). The most common bacteria causing meningitis and septicaemia are Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcal) and Neisseria meningitidis (meningococcal).
Meningitis can develop rapidly and its symptoms often resemble the flu (e.g., fever, drowsiness and headache), which makes it difficult for doctors to diagnose and patients/family members to recognise.
Join Hands Against Meningitis to tell governments worldwide they must make meningitis prevention a priority and ensure their communities have access to meningitis preventing vaccines for FREE!