World Meningitis Day (WMD) – observed on April 24 each year – is devoted to raising global awareness about meningitis – a dangerous infectious disease that can affect anyone. Sponsored by the Confederation of Meningitis Organisations (CoMO), the one-day campaign is a great opportunity for people all over the world to raise their voices for meningitis through telling patient stories, raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of the disease and increasing knowledge of available vaccines. It aims to highlight the importance of diagnosis, treatment, prevention and improving support for those dealing with the potentially devastating aftereffects of this deadly disease. Meningitis is a potentially deadly disease that causes inflammation of the membranes (meninges) surrounding the brain and spinal cord. The inflammation of the membranes typically triggers symptoms such as headache, fever and a stiff neck. According to recent reports, meningitis affects more than 1 million people all over the world each year. It is estimated that 1 in 5 bacterial meningitis survivors develop one or more aftereffects. Viral infections are considered one of the most common symptoms associated with the condition. In some cases, the condition improves without treatment within a few weeks. On the other hand, for severe, life-threatening conditions emergency antibiotic treatment is essential. Treatment modalities may depend on the relative causes and the type and severity of infection a patient suffers. Staying healthy, practicing good hygiene habits and administering correct immunizations can help prevent the occurrence of this condition in the long run. Infectious disease specialists or other physicians treating meningitis patients can rely on the services of a professional medical billing and coding company for correct clinical documentation of this condition.

The 2020 worldwide campaign calls attention to the fact that meningitis can affect people of all ages and cause death within 24 hours. On this one-day observance, the Confederation of Meningitis Organisations (CoMO) and its global members encourage individuals, families and communities to learn the signs and symptoms of meningitis, the importance of urgent treatment of the disease, and that prevention is available through vaccination against some forms of meningitis. The early symptoms of meningitis may mimic the flu (influenza). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these symptoms can appear either suddenly or over a few days (normally about 3 to 7 days) after infection. Typical symptoms include – sudden high fever, severe headache, stiff neck, confusion or difficulty concentrating, seizures, sensitivity to light, no appetite or thirst and skin rash.

Diagnosis of this condition may involve a physical examination, medical history review and diagnostic tests. Physicians may check for signs of infection around the head, ears, throat and the skin along the spine. Imaging tests like Computerized tomography (CT), Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of the head may be conducted to look for swelling or inflammation. In addition, blood cultures will be done as part of the diagnosis. Treatment modalities for this condition may depend on the type of infections and whether it is acute or chronic. Treatment options include – antibiotics, corticosteroids, anticonvulsants, oxygen therapy, fluids and sedatives. Infectious disease specialists treating meningitis patients must correctly document the symptoms, screening tests and treatment procedures using the right medical codes. Medical billing services offered by reputable service providers can help physicians use the right ICD-10 codes for their medical billing purposes. ICD-10 codes for diagnosing meningitis include –

G00 – Bacterial meningitis, not elsewhere classified

  • G00.0 – Hemophilus meningitis
  • G00.1 – Pneumococcal meningitis
  • G00.2 – Streptococcal meningitis
  • G00.3 – Staphylococcal meningitis
  • G00.8 – Other bacterial meningitis
  • G00.9 – Bacterial meningitis, unspecified

G01 – Meningitis in bacterial diseases classified elsewhere

G02 – Meningitis in other infectious and parasitic diseases classified elsewhere

G03 – Meningitis due to other and unspecified causes

  • G03.0 – Nonpyogenic meningitis
  • G03.1- Chronic meningitis
  • G03.2 – Benign recurrent meningitis [Mollaret]
  • G03.8 – Meningitis due to other specified causes
  • G03.9 – Meningitis, unspecified

The observance of World Meningitis Day first began in the year 2008 as an initiative of the worldwide Confederation of Meningitis Organizations (CoMO). The theme for 2020 WMD is – “Defeat Meningitis” which focuses on why we need to defeat meningitis and the steps we can all take towards this objective. As part of the one-day observance, a wide range of events and activities are organized worldwide to generate awareness about the importance of diagnosing the symptoms of meningitis at an early stage. Download the World Meningitis Day (WMD) logo (from the CoMO website), share infographics and testimonial across several social media platforms and change your Facebook and Twitter banner to show your support for WMD. People posts hash tags like – #MeningitisNow, #MeningitisDay, or #WorldMeningitisDay via different social media platforms.

Join World Meningitis Day (WMD) Observance on April 24! Take swift action to Defeat Meningitis!