DOH-Eastern Visayas intensifies info campaign on meningo
TACLOBAN CITY, Feb. 25 (PNA) -- The Department of Health's (DOH) office in Eastern Visayas has stepped up its campaign against the spread of meningococcemia in the region after the disease killed a six-year-old girl in Carigara, Leyte last January.
The health office has urged parents to take extra precaution and seek immediate medical attention if their children suffer from bacterial diseases.
It also provided prophylactic antibiotics to relatives and people who came in contact with the young victim.
Meningococcemia is a blood infection caused by the Neisseria Meningitides bacteria, which can live in a person's upper respiratory tract without causing visible signs of illness.
According to the DOH, this disease is characterized by a sudden onset of high fever for 24 hours, stiff neck, convulsion in some, delirium, altered mental status, vomiting, cough and sore throat.
Other respiratory symptoms include pinpoint rashes that become wider and appear like bruises starting on the legs and arms, large map-like, bruise-like patches, severe skin lesions that may lead to gangrene, and unstable vital signs.
The disease may spread through common everyday activities such as crowding, living in close quarters like dormitories, and kissing. It can also spread through contact with a person's respiratory discharges from the nose and throat.
Transmission of the bacteria occurs through airborne respiratory droplets expelled by infected people or through healthy asymptomatic carriers.
Meningococcemia is highly infectious and progresses rapidly, resulting in death within hours if not immediately recognized and treated.
For prevention and control, the health office advised the public to avoid crowded areas, stay away from meningococcemia patients, maintain a clean environment, and avoid sharing utensils, water bottles, cups, or anything else that has been in the mouth of an infected person.
It also suggested that people increase their resistance by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a nutritious, well-balanced diet, regular exercise, adequate rest and sleep, and avoiding tobacco and alcohol. (PNA) CVL/SQM/Franchette May M. Tolibas (OJT)