Meningitis in Kenya has been recorded in sporadic outbreaks fueled by droughts and displacement of populations in the northern part of the country in the recent past.It is a serious disease in which there is inflammation of the meninges surrounding your brain and spinal cord.
Symptoms include a sudden onset of fever, stiff neck, headache, possibly nausea and vomiting, light sensitivity and an altered mental state. A meningitis rash occurs if blood leaks into the tissue under the skin. It may start as a few small spots in any part of the body, then spread rapidly and look like fresh bruises.
In 2017, the government unveiled a vaccine to bolster efforts to eradicate the highly infectious disease that is rampant in Kenya and other Sub-Saharan countries. Any meningitis outbreak in Africa usually coincides with drought.
Types of meningitis in Kenya
It is a potentially life-threatening disease that can cause serious complications such as brain damage, hearing loss, and ultimately death if not diagnosed and treated promptly. This form of meningitis usually occurs when bacteria gets into the bloodstream and travels to the brain and spinal cord. But it can also occur when bacteria directly invade the meninges. This may be caused by an ear or sinus infection, a skull fracture, or, rarely, after some surgeries. It spreads between people in close contact with each other.
This tends to be less severe, and most people recover completely without treatment. This form of meningitis can be spread by faecal contamination, typically when proper hand washing isn’t practiced after changing diapers or using the toilet. The entero viruses that cause viral meningitis can also spread through eye, nose, and mouth secretions, or blister fluid
This is a rare form of the disease. It occurs when a fungus enters the bloodstream. Anyone can get this form of the disease, but people with a weakened immune system are at an increased risk. Fungal meningitis is most often caused by inhaling fungal spores from contaminated soil or from bird or bat droppings.
It is also a rare form of the disease that causes a brain infection that progresses rapidly and is usually fatal. It is caused by certain types of parasites. However, this is very rare. The most common cause of parasitic meningitis is an amoeba called Naegleria fowleri.
5. Non infectious
Usually caused caused by something other than the bacteria that typically cause acute meningitis. It mainly occurs as the result of cancer, lupus, a head injury, brain surgery, or from certain medications. It can not be spread from one person to another.
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Beyond Borders Medtours team