Young Parents (Singapore) - - SANOFI PASTEUR SPECIAL -

Even if you are in the pink of health, it doesn’t mean you should lower your guard, as you could still be har­bour­ing cer­tain bac­te­ria with­out show­ing vis­i­ble signs of the dis­ease. It’s pos­si­ble for you to trans­mit the bac­te­ria to some­one else, which could po­ten­tially be fa­tal for them.

This is es­pe­cially true of meningo­coc­cus or Neis­se­ria menin­gi­tidis, which is re­spon­si­ble for the life-threat­en­ing meningo­coc­cal dis­ease1. It is es­ti­mated that one per­son out of 10 car­ries this bac­terium at some point – and they may not even know it. Very few de­velop the dis­ease, but serve as a source of in­fec­tion in­stead.


The trans­mis­sion of meningo­coc­cus can oc­cur dur­ing close, in­ti­mate and pro­longed con­tact with a car­rier in places such as your home, densely crowded and con­fined spa­ces like dor­mi­to­ries, and in group or com­mu­nity gath­er­ings. The bac­terium spreads via res­pi­ra­tory and oral se­cre­tions such as saliva and mu­cus through cough­ing, sneez­ing, kiss­ing, and shar­ing cut­lery.

Symp­toms2 of meningo­coc­cal dis­ease are sud­den and ap­pear in just a few days. These in­clude in­tense headaches, fever, nau­sea, vom­it­ing, a stiff neck, dis­ori­en­ta­tion, rashes and sen­si­tiv­ity to light. You could be suf­fer­ing from ei­ther menin­gi­tis – the in­flam­ma­tion of the mem­branes pro­tect­ing the brain and spinal cord – or sep­ti­caemia, also known as blood poi­son­ing. Both are med­i­cal emer­gen­cies: late ac­tion could re­sult in death within hours, or paral­y­sis, hear­ing loss, brain dam­age and speech dis­or­ders.


At the hos­pi­tal, an­tibi­otics are pre­scribed to treat the dis­ease, and are also given to pa­tients who have been ex­posed to some­one who’s in­fected. An early di­ag­no­sis is im­por­tant and makes a dif­fer­ence.

But first, it’s best to avoid be­com­ing a po­ten­tial car­rier and com­pro­mis­ing your fam­ily’s health – make sure you all re­ceive your vac­ci­na­tions. There are two for meningo­coc­cal dis­ease3: meningo­coc­cal con­ju­gate vac­cine and meningo­coc­cal polysac­cha­ride vac­cine. Ask your doc­tor or health-care provider for more in­for­ma­tion to­day.

For more de­tails, visit www.vac­ci­na­tion­is­pro­tec­

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