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The symptoms of invasive meningococcal disease occur mainly, but not exclusively, in young children. Invasive meningococcal disease is an infection that can lead to permanent disability or death. What are the symptoms of invasive meningococcal disease?

Invasive meningococcal diseaseis the most severe form of meningococcal infection. Meningococci can cause pharyngitis, pneumonia, otitis media, pericarditis, and inflammation of the joints and other organs. However, sometimes meningococcus attacks with such enormous force that they cross the mucosal barrier and enter the blood - this is invasive meningococcal disease, which can take the form of sepsis and meningitis.

The peak incidence is recorded among children up to 5 years of age and among young people between 11 and 19 years of age. It is linked to changes in the body associated with puberty that make young people less resistant to any kind of infection. At this stage of life, the intensity of contacts with peers at school, at discos or during joint trips, which are conducive to infection, also increases.

Invasive meningococcal disease - symptoms

heralds symptoms (first 4-6 hours)sepsis symptoms

symptoms of meningitis

  • bad general condition
  • lethargy
  • fever
  • nausea, vomiting
  • food refusal
  • irritation
  • symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections
  • stomach ache
  • diarrhea
  • pain in limbs / joints (after approx. 7 hours)
  • cold hands and feet (after approx. 12 hours)
  • pale / marbled / bluish skin (after approx. 10 hours)
  • accelerated heartbeat
  • shortness of breath
  • desire
  • rash
  • stomach pain (sometimes with diarrhea)
  • disturbance of consciousness (late)
  • severe headache
  • neck stiffness (not always in children under the age of 2)
  • photophobia (not always under the age of 2)
  • disturbance of consciousness (late)
  • convulsions (late)
  • focal neurological symptoms (late)
  • meningeal symptoms

The symptoms of invasive meningococcal disease do not appear in a specific order, and some may not appear at all. The classic symptoms include headache, fever, drowsiness, diarrhea, convulsions, stiff neck, nausea and vomiting.

Meningococcus (Neisseria meningitidis) are dangerous bacteria that cause invasive meningococcal disease. Most of the epidemic outbreaks recorded in Poland were caused by meningococcus from groups B and C.

A symptom typical of meningococcal infection is also a petechial rash, occurring in about half of patients, which does not fade under pressure. The rash can appear on any part of the body as tiny red spots which, in the later stages of the disease, fuse into large patches. To find out if a rash could be a sign of meningococcal sepsis (and not a symptom of measles or rubella, for example), you can do a 'glass test'. In the case of meningococcal infection, the spots do not turn pale after pressing the bottom of the glass against the lesions on the skin. Sometimes the rash appears on the surface of the eyeballs, in places partially covered by the eyelids. Unfortunately, when it occurs, it may be too late to rescue.

The first symptoms of the disease, referred to as non-specific, do not differ significantly from the common cold or flu. Therefore, according to prof. Leszek Szenborn, parents have to take matters into their own hands. How to understand? First of all, watch your baby carefully. If there are any deviations from normal behavior, do not be misled by the diagnosis made by your pediatrician or GP. And don't waste your time on them. If you notice them in your baby and he still has a temperature, try to get to the hospital which has a life-saving department as soon as possible. - Even a child's stay in an ordinary hospital is often ineffective. In the case of invasive meningococcal disease, the ICU with its specialized equipment is necessary - adds Prof. Szenborn.

Invasive meningococcal disease - complications

Some people who have had a meningococcal infection have permanent or temporary complications, such as

  • various degrees of hearing loss or brain damage
  • epilepsy
  • amputations of fingers or parts of limbs
  • skin and subcutaneous tissue defects requiring transplants
  • emotional disorders
According to an expertbow. Alicja Mażarska-Pazio - pediatrician and neonatologist at CM Damian

Invasive meningococcal disease is characterized by a dynamic and unpredictable course. It can take the form of sepsis (sepsis), which is blood poisoning, or meningitis.spinal. It also happens that it runs under both characters at the same time. The fact that the disease can develop extremely quickly - even within 24 hours, resulting in the death of previously completely he althy people - is luscious to the imagination.

If proper treatment is started too late, mortality can reach 70-80%. Even after successful treatment of invasive meningococcal disease, many patients risk permanent neurological complications, skin and tissue defects, or amputation of the limbs.

If the disease can attack at an express pace and carries such serious consequences, it becomes extremely important to recognize it early and start appropriate treatment immediately. So what are the first symptoms that could put us on the right track? Experts emphasize that, unfortunately, the symptoms are not characteristic and it is easy to confuse them with, for example, influenza (fever, headache or joint and muscle pain). It is worth noting that the symptoms of invasive meningococcal disease change during its development. The symptoms accompanying the disease may include vomiting, drowsiness, lack of appetite, difficulty breathing, decreased muscle tone, convulsions and pain in the limbs. The youngest children most often experience convulsions, loss of appetite or restlessness. A characteristic, but not always present, symptom is a petechial rash that does not fade under pressure. We can examine it by performing the so-called glass test, i.e. pressing the side of the glass against the changes on the skin. In the case of meningococcal infection, the spots will not fade under pressure.

Source: www.zasz

Worth knowing

Contagion is fostered by behaviors that are natural for adolescents, but which become risky in the context of potential contagion. These include, first of all, staying in crowded rooms with a high level of noise, which prompts you to whisper in the ear, as well as staying in closed rooms, such as barracks, boarding houses or dormitories. It is worth knowing that bacteria are transmitted by droplets and any random kisses, drinking from one bottle, using the same cutlery, smoking the same cigarette can only facilitate their spread.

Meningococcal infection or common infection? How to test the glass?

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