Trust Your Instincts Regarding Meningitis B

Parents identify MenB faster than young adults

college coed oon laptop computer stressing out

A pharmacy chain recently investigated whether 16–24-year-olds and their parents could identify meningitis B symptoms and react quickly enough to prevent life-changing injury or death. 

This study found that almost 25 percent of parents said they’ve sought medical help because of a ‘gut instinct.’ 

And, 80 percent of parents said ‘they were right to trust their instinct.’ 

This study by Alphega Pharmacy of 615 British citizens during November 2018 found that young people are less aware than parents of the danger meningitis poses, are less likely to spot the symptoms, and are much slower to react appropriately to this life-threating disease. 

Additional study highlights are as follows:

  • 68 percent of 16–24-year-olds and 11 percent of parents with children of the age studied failed to identify meningitis B when shown its symptoms,
  • 38 percent of young people and 19 percent of parents didn’t realize meningitis B could have life-changing side effects,
  • People who could identify meningitis B took 17 hours to do so, five hours after the ‘red flag’ signs appear, 
  • Young people said they’d wait until they felt delirious, fell unconscious and were having seizures before they’d seek urgent medical help, drastically increasing their chance of death,
  • People who were shown a skin rash in their list of symptoms sought medical help sooner. 

These researchers said in a web statement that ‘this new research suggests that parents have spent enough time caring for their children to understand how they can protect them from meningitis B. 

Parents’ understanding, reactions, and instincts appear to serve them well. 

“Err on the side of caution is advice many adults take but a phrase that young people may not find familiar. Retail pharmacists play an important role in helping young adults identify vaccines appropriate for their age group,” said Lauren Ragan, PharmD, Clinical Pharmacist, MTM and Immunization Specialist for Brookshire Grocery Company.

Recommended:

“They can also provide education on the signs and symptoms of these vaccine-preventable diseases to encourage them to seek care earlier.”

But, young people don’t yet have the experience or haven’t been given enough information, to develop such healthy instincts. 

And, young people living independently, especially at university, are more at risk of getting infected. 

A preventive vaccine is the best way to reduce the risk of contracting meningitis which poses a risk to your life and long-term health. There are meningitis B preventive vaccines available at most pharmacies. 

A stiff neck and an aversion to bright light are some of the earliest ‘red flag’ signs of meningitis B. If you experience flu-like symptoms and start getting neck stiffness, leg pain, cold hands and feet, or can’t tolerate bright light, seek medical advice immediately – don’t wait for a skin rash. 

Trust your instincts.

Alphega Pharmacy has grown to support more than 6,600* independent pharmacy members across 9 countries: the Czech Republic, France, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, Germany, the UK, Turkey, and Romania.