Common bacteria or viruses that can cause meningitis can spread through coughing, sneezing, kissing, or sharing eating utensils, a toothbrush or a cigarette.These steps can help prevent meningitis:
1,Wash your hands. Careful hand-washing helps prevent the spread of germs. Teach children to wash their hands often, especially before eating and after using the toilet, spending time in a crowded public place or petting animals. Show them how to vigorously and thoroughly wash and rinse their hands.
2,Practice good hygiene. Don’t share drinks, foods, straws, eating utensils, lip balms or toothbrushes with anyone else. Teach children and teens to avoid sharing these items too.
3,Stay healthy. Maintain your immune system by getting enough rest, exercising regularly, and eating a healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
4,Cover your mouth. When you need to cough or sneeze, be sure to cover your mouth and nose.
If you’re pregnant, take care with food. Reduce your risk of listeriosis by cooking meat, including hot dogs and deli meat, to 165 F (74 C). Avoid cheeses made from unpasteurized milk. Choose cheeses that are clearly labeled as being made with pasteurized milk.
Some forms of bacterial meningitis are preventable with the following vaccinations:
1,Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend this vaccine for children starting at about 2 months of age. The vaccine is also recommended for some adults, including those who have sickle cell disease or AIDS and those who don’t have a spleen.
2,Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13). This vaccine also is part of the WHO and CDC recommended routine vaccination schedule for children younger than 2 years. Additional doses are recommended for children between the ages of 2 and 5 who are at high risk of pneumococcal disease, including children who have chronic heart or lung disease or cancer.
3,Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23). Older children and adults who need protection from pneumococcal bacteria may receive this vaccine. The CDC recommends the PPSV23 vaccine for all adults older than 65; for younger adults and children age 2 and older who have weak immune systems or chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes or sickle cell anemia; and for anyone who doesn’t have a spleen.
4,Meningococcal conjugate vaccine. The CDC recommends that a single dose be given to children ages 11 to 12, with a booster shot given at age 16. If the vaccine is first given between ages 13 and 15, the booster is recommended between ages 16 and 18. If the first shot is given at age 16 or older, no booster is necessary.
This vaccine can also be given to children between the ages of 2 months and 10 years who are at high risk of bacterial meningitis or who have been exposed to someone with the disease. It’s also used to vaccinate healthy but previously unvaccinated people who have been exposed in outbreaks.