MENINGITIS
Description


 
  Symptoms
Drowsiness     Eyes - sensitivity to light Fever
Head - ache Mental confusion Muscles - aching
Neck - stiffness Seizure Skin - rash
Vomiting Weakness  
  Description
Meningitis is the inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. The inflammation may be caused by infection with viruses and bacteria but also by fungi, parasites or tumors. It may also result from various non-infectious causes such as environmental toxins. Meningitis is not always easy to recognize, and symptoms can be similar to many other more common illnesses, for example flu.

Viral Meningitis
Most people with viral meningitis will have mild flu-like symptoms. Unlike bacterial meningitis, viral meningitis does not usually lead to septicaemia (blood poisoning). Viral meningitis can be caused by several types of viruses, but by far the most common are enteroviruses. Herpes viruses, the same virus that can cause cold sores and genital herpes, and West Nile virus, spread by mosquito bites, have become a cause of many viral meningitis cases.

Bacterial Meningitis
Bacterial meningitis is not as common as viral meningitis, but it is more serious. The symptoms usually begin suddenly and rapidly get worse. Meningitis should be treated as a medical emergency because bacterial meningitis can lead to septicaemia (blood poisoning), which can be fatal. Most common types of bacteria that can cause meningitis are:
Neisseria meningitidis causes meningococcal meningitis, which is a common form of meningitis in children and young adults. It is highly contagious.
Haemophilus influenzae. The use of a vaccine has mostly eradicated this kind of meningitis in countries where it is given to infants.
Streptococcus pneumonia is the most common cause of bacterial meningitis in children.
Listeria monocytogenes is a common form of bacteria. It does not tend to infect most people, but the very young and very old, as well as pregnant women, can be at risk.
Staphylococcus aureus may be found following a head injury or brain surgery.
  Diagnosis

It is important to perform a lumbar puncture, in which cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is collected for testing Tests that may be done include:
 
• Blood culture.
• Chest x-ray.
• CSF examination for cell count, glucose, and protein.
• Computed tomography scan of the head.
• Gram stain, other special stains, and culture of CSF.

  More information:
Meningitis Treatment
Meningitis Healthcare Centers
 

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