An easy way to check for meningitis

Today in class when we were talking about vaccines and preventative measures for diseases it got me thinking about ways that we can make sure we recognize symptoms of diseases in case we never got the vaccine. 
My dad is a doctor so growing up he always had to make sure I was super safe in everything I did. I was not allowed to rollerblade without a helmet, shit guards, knee pads, wrist guards, and elbow pads. I could not cut anything with a sharp knife until I was about 13 because he would always take it from me because he was afraid I would hurt myself. Along with a variety of other safety precautions, one of them was checking for meningitis. Whenever I would get a flu or flu like symptoms he would always tell me to touch my chin to my chest. As a kid I was very confused why he would ask me to do this. Was it somehow a cure? Did it help relieve my sinuses? I had absolutely no idea why putting my chin to my chest was at all helpful. When I asked him about it he said it was to make sure I did not have meningitis. Since meningitis can infect and kill very quickly, this was always a precautionary measure to make sure I was not getting meningitis. After finding this out, I touch my chin to my chest everyday just to check.

Some of you may be thinking at this point that there is no way touching your chin to your chest can check for meningitis. However, this little trick is backed with information. In this article it says that people infected with meningitis have severe pain in their head and neck so it is extremely difficult and painful for them to touch their chin to their chest. This is not the same thing as having a stiff neck, so if you wake up and have a stiff neck there is no need to rush to the hospital. However, if you have flu like symptoms, severe head and neck pain you might want to consider going to the doctor. Here are some other symptoms you should check for to see if you have meningitis or perhaps just a sore neck. This is just one simple step that can help save a life. Of course it is not effective as a vaccine, but if needed this can help someone recognize their symptoms and get treatment faster. 


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