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Meningitis is rocking the capital again

Just when the residents are recovering from the earlier spell of the deadly meningitis that had claimed nearly 50 valuable human lives, another report of causality has created much panic//. According to official reports, the patient (32-year-old male) was admitted to Moolchand Hospital on November 28 with a rapid onset of fever, low blood pressure and breathing difficulty. The patient was later shifted to Apollo Hospital, where he died.

The health officials in Indraprastha hospital and Municipal Corporation of Delhi are being hesitant about issue of any statement regarding the death of Karan Luthra who had died a week before. "Yes, one person died in our hospital last week but we cannot divulge anything about it," said a hospital official. The former hospital administrator, J.N. Banavaliker has said that there is no reason for worry amongst the general public.

The Delhi Medical Association has however issued a notice to all physicians, requesting them to watch out for any symptoms of meningococcal infection and bring it to the immediate notice of concerned officials.

"Meningococcal alert has been issued by DMA and it has requested all its members to watch out for the meningococcal meningitis and meningococcal septicaemia cases in the community. Symptoms of meningococcal meningitis include vomiting, headache and neck stiffness and meningococcal septicaemia may occur with a rapid onset of acute febrile illness with an increased heart rate and rapid progression to multiple organ failure. Meningococcal septicaemia is less common than meningococcal meningitis but is more serious. The commonest signs include fever, rashes appearing as small areas of bleeding in the skin and low blood pressure,'' said Dr. Aggarwal, President of the Delhi Medical Association.

The term ‘Meninges’ refers to covering of the brain and spinal cord and ‘itis’ refers to inflammation. Meningitis is therefore an inflammation involving the coverings that prot ect the central nervous system. Meningitis of bacterial origin can be effectively treated with anti-biotics, if diagnosed early.

The microorganism Neisseria meningitis bacteria serotype A is being held responsible for causing meningococcal meningitis that had emerged in May. The most common mode of transmission of the infection is through infected droplets of the respiratory or throat secretions and other form of close contact. In addition, more than 20 % of the cases can progress to septicemia that can result in death within a short span of 12-24 hous.

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