MENINGITIS: Definition | Types | Symptoms | Diagnosis | Treatment | Prevention

Meningitis
Photo source: wikipedia

WHAT IS MENINGITIS?

Meningitis is an acute inflammation of the meninges. The membranes which covers the brain and spinal cord are called meninges which are dura mater, arachnoid mater and pia mater.



Symptoms Of Meningitis

Detecting if someone have been infected with meningitis can be very difficult ecpecially at it early stage. The symptom of meningitis also tends to vary depending on the type of meningitis or the age of the affected person(adult or children).

Symptoms of meningitis in children includes:

  1. Fever.
  2. Sleepiness.
  3. Low appetite.
  4. Rapid or difficulty in breathing.
  5. Lack of energy.

Symptoms of Meningitis in Adult.

  1. Headache.
  2. Stiff neck.
  3. Fever.
  4. Photophobia (dislike of bright lights).
  5. Seizures.
  6. Nausea.
  7. Decreased Appetite.

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Types Of Meningitis

There are basically five (5) types of meningitis namely: Bacterial, Fungal, Viral, Parasitic and Non-infectious meningitis.
From the five (5) types listed above, fungal and bacterial meningitis is the most common type of meningitis.
1. Virus Meningitis: The most causes of viral meningitis are caused by enteroviruses. Other viruses such as influenza, mumps, measles also causes meningitis.
2. Bacterial Meningitis: This types of meningitis is a life-threating form of disease that can cause brain damage, heavy loss or death when not properly treated. The type of bacterial that can cause bacterial meningitis includes Haemophilus influenzae, Neisseria meningitidis and streptococcus pneumoniae.
3. Fungal Meningitis: this occurs when fungus enters the bloodstream. People with low or weakened immune system tends to be at higher risk.
4. Non-infectious meningitis: This type of meningitis cannot be contacted from another person. It occurs as a result of head surgery, cancer, lupus, head injury.
5. Parasitic Meningitis: Naegleria fowleri (a parasite) is the source for primary amebic meningoencephalitis(PAM), a rare type type of parasitic meningitis. This type of disease causes a infection that progress rapidly. Parasitic meningitis cannot be transferred by contact with affected person.

Diagnosis Of Meningitis

The diagnosis of meningitis is done by collection of laboratory blood test or cerebrospinal fluid (fluid near the spinal cord) test.
Other ways of diagnosing meningitis includes: chest x-ray to check presence of pneumonia, tuberculosis or other fungal infections and through CT scan of the head to check for problems like brain abscess or sinusitis.

Treatment Of Meningitis

The treatment of meningitis is determined by the cause or type of meningitis.
Early and immediate treatment is required for bacterial meningitis to prevent brain damage and death of the patient. Bacterial meningitis is treated with intravenous antibiotics.
Fungal meningitis is treated with anti fungal agents.
Viral meningitis isn't traeted. It usually resolve on it own. There is no serious longterm problems associated with viral meningitis.

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Prevention Of Meningitis

Maintain proper hygiene (wash your hands regularly)

  1. Avoid droplets of respiratory secretion during close contact such as kissing, sneezing or coughing.
  2. Wash your hands after having contact with someone who has meningitis.
  3. Avoid overcrowding.
  4. Get vaccinated against the disease.
  5. Avoid self medication.
  6. Proper disposal of respiratory and throat secretion.


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Have you being diagnosed with meningitis or have experience with anybody diagnosed with meningitis? Please share your experience in the comment section below.