Meningitis: preschoolers with meningococcal meningitis
In Dresden, a young child suffers from contagious meningococcal meningitis (meningitis). The disease can be life-threatening. People who have had contact with the asylum child are treated with antibiotics.
Contact persons are treated preventively with antibiotics
In Dresden, a child in a nursery suffers from contagious meningococcal meningitis. According to a statement, the health department received the test Friday, promptly identifying the approximately 110 contact persons at the children's nursery and personal contacts. "Preventive antibiotics have been prescribed for eligible children and adults," said medical officer and head of the Health Department, Dresden Jens Heimann. "The sooner we intervene in this disease, the more likely it is that it can not burst or be carried out among contact persons".
Transmission for droplet infection
Meningococci are bacteria that settle in the nasopharyngeal space of human beings and, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), are detectable in about 10% of the population without signs of clinical symptoms.
They are transmitted by direct and close contact through drops or saliva contacts. Bacteria are released into the air when they speak, cough or sneeze in small droplets from the nasopharynx and can be inhaled from a short distance.
In addition, pathogens can also be transmitted in close contact with patients such as smear infections, for example by touching nasal secretion. Outside the body, the bacteria die quickly.
According to health experts, two forms of meningococcal disease can occur individually or together:
Meningococcal diseases are meningitis in about two thirds of cases. In about a third of cases, the course is characterized by sepsis, "writes the RKI on its website.
The onset of the disease is usually very sudden and progresses rapidly.
Possible deadly course
Symptoms like headache, neck stiffness or nausea can occur during an infection between two and ten days after infection.
Other complaints of meningitis include fever, photosensitivity, chills and a state of clouding of consciousness, such as severe drowsiness or dizziness.
Bacterial meningitis can lead to severe disability or even death within a short period of time.
The disease is contagious before it explodes
"With this disease, unfortunately, it is already so contagious, before it explodes", so the head of the Dresden health department Jens Heimann.
But: "24 hours after the beginning of an effective antibiotic therapy, the sick are no longer contagious," writes the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) on its portal "Infektionsschutz.de ".
According to health experts, patients must immediately go to the hospital if they suspect a meningococcal infection.
Very rare disease
According to the BZgA, meningococcal disease is rare in Germany: about four cases per million people in the year. Most of these are isolated cases, especially in the fall and winter months.
There are different types of meningococci. In Germany, serogroups B and C are the most common.
A vaccine against the deadly disease is available for some years. (To)