Meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges, the delicate tissue that covers the brain and spinal cord. Meningitis comes in a variety of forms. Viral meningitis is the most frequent type. When a virus spreads through the mouth or nose and moves to the brain, you contract it. Although it is uncommon, bacterial meningitis can be fatal. Bacteria that cause an infection that resembles a cold usually cause it to start. It may result in brain damage, hearing loss, and stroke. Other organs may also suffer damage. The most frequent causes of bacterial meningitis are meningococcal and pneumococcal infections.
Meningitis can affect anyone, but those with weakened immune systems are more likely to contract it. Meningitis can soon become life-threatening. Immediately seek medical attention if you have:
- an abruptly high fever
- a very bad headache
- a tense neck
- discomfort or vomiting
Serious issues, including mortality, can often be avoided with early treatment. Blood tests, imaging studies, and a spinal tap to check the cerebrospinal fluid are all used to diagnose meningitis. Bacterial meningitis can be treated with antibiotics. Some forms of viral meningitis may be helped by antiviral medications. Other drugs can aid in the treatment of symptoms.
How Do Meningitis Spread?
Some microorganisms that cause bacterial meningitis, like L. monocytogenes, are food-transmissible. However, the majority of these pathogens pass from person to person.
The sort of bacteria that is present typically determines how people spread illness. The fact that people can have these bacteria in or on their bodies without getting sick is also crucial to understand. The majority of “carriers” never get sick but can still transmit the bacterium to others. In most cases, bacterial meningitis symptoms occur 3 to 7 days after infection; however, TB meningitis symptoms can appear much later after contact with the bacteria. Those who have bacterial meningitis may experience seizures, fall into a coma, or possibly pass away. Anyone who suspects someone may have meningitis must visit a doctor immediately because of this.
According to CDC, doctors treat bacterial meningitis with a number of antibiotics.The earliest possible start to medication is necessary.
The best strategy to guard against some types of bacterial meningitis is by vaccination. Vaccines are available against the following 4 kinds of bacteria that causes meningitis:
- N.meningitidis is protected against by meningococcal vaccinations.
- Vaccinations against pneumococci help prevent S. pneumoniae
- Immunizations against Haemophilus influenzae serotype B (Hib) help prevent Hib
- Although it is not commonly used in the United States, the Bacille Calmette-Guérin vaccine actually prevents tuberculosis sickness.