World Meningitis Day is celebrated annually on October 5th to raise awareness about this serious medical condition. Meningitis is an infection of the protective membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. It can be caused by fungi, viruses, or bacteria, with bacterial meningitis being the most dangerous. Symptoms of meningitis can develop quickly, so it is important for everyone to know the signs and symptoms of the disease.
The first recorded outbreak of meningitis was documented in 1805 in Geneva, followed by an outbreak in 1840 in Africa. Hippocrates wrote about the symptoms of meningitis in ancient literature, however the exact cause of the disease is still unknown. The holiday was first held in 2008 on April 24th, but due to the high volume of other health programs, the date was later changed to October 5th. In 2020, the World Health Organization established a roadmap to fight meningitis by 2030, which could potentially save 200 lives and reduce disability.
- Epidemic of meningitis are more common in Africa.
- 85% of cases occur in children.
- Before the 20th century, mortality rates were around 90%, however this has decreased with the invention of antibiotics and vaccines.
- Outbreaks of infection are more common in the spring and winter months.
How to take part
In order to raise awareness about meningitis, it is important to educate yourself on the signs and symptoms, prevention, and vaccination. Describe your own experience with the disease or the experience of someone you know who had meningitis. You can also take part in charitable collections to raise money for treatment.
When is World Meningitis Day in 2023?
World Meningitis Day is observed on October 5 each year.