Meningitis

Meningitis is the inflammation of the fluid and three membranes (called meninges) that surround the brain and spinal cord. This infection can be bacterial or fungal but can also be caused by injuries, cancer, and certain types of drugs. It can easily be transmitted to the people who live around you because it is easily transmitted through sneezes, coughs, or close contact. Some cases of infections improve within a few weeks without treatment while in others you need treatment otherwise it can be life-threatening or emergency antibiotic treatment.  To talk to a specialist for Infectious disease call us on 1-347-384-5690.

Causes  

Although there are many reasons behind meningitis, the main 4 causes of this infection are given below: 

  • Bacterial meningitis: This infection happens due to bacteria getting into your bloodstream through the sinuses, ear, or throat. And that bacteria travel to the brain through the bloodstream. This is life-threatening and immediate medical attention is required to save a life.  
  • Viral meningitis: Viral meningitis is caused by a virus and it’s the most common cause of meningitis. This is less serious than others and most people get better without any treatment. 
  • Parasitic meningitis: This meningitis is caused by parasites that affect animals. When you eat those animals or eat their eggs or eat them undercooked or raw you can get this infection. It is exceedingly rare compared to viral and bacterial meningitis.  
  • Fungal meningitis: This meningitis is caused by a fungal infection that makes its way to your brain and spinal cord. Healthy people rarely get infected by this infection, and it is also a rare infection. This fungal infection mostly infects people who have a weak immune system like people who suffer from AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Disease Syndrome). 
  • Other causes of meningitis include autoimmune conditions, cancer treatments, syphilis, tuberculosis, and brain injury. 

Risk factors 

  • Age: Teenagers and young adults (from 16 to 25) have a high chance of developing this disease. Kids under 5 also come into the danger zone. And adults over 55 are more likely to get infected with it.  
  • Skipping vaccines: Chances are high for people who don’t complete their compulsory child vaccinations.  
  • Living in community area: Students, kids, or soldiers who live in community space have a high chance of getting this infection because any bacteria can spread easily through close personal contact.  
  • Pregnancy: During pregnancy, the risk of getting listeriosis is increased. This infection is caused by listeria bacteria, which can cause meningitis and also increases the chances of miscarriage, stillbirth, and premature pregnancy.  
  • Weak immune system due to medication or diseases: Diseases like AIDS, diabetes, etc., or chronic medications make your immune system weak which makes it easy for any infection to affect you. And if your spleen is removed you should take the vaccine to minimize the risk. 

Symptoms 

These are the symptoms that you might notice hours or days after you get the infection: 

  • Confusion 
  • Fever 
  • Headache 
  • Numbness (that you feel in your face) 
  • Sensitivity to light 
  • Stiff neck 
  • Upset stomach 
  • Severe headache with nausea 
  • Lack of focus, brain fog 
  • Seizures 
  • Sleepiness 
  • Lack of appetite 
  • Lack of thirst 
  • Skin rashes 

Symptoms that develop in infants after getting the infections include:  

  • High fever 
  • Crying constantly and gets louder when you hold the baby 
  • The baby seems overly sleepy, sluggish, or inactive 
  • Stiff neck or body 
  • Can’t breastfeed 
  • Irritable 

Treatment 

Treatment depends on the cause of meningitis you have.  

  • Bacterial meningitis should be treated with antibiotics right away. Antibiotics or a combination of antibiotics are given to you when doctors find out which bacteria is causing them.  
  • Viral infection cannot be treated by antiviral medications. In most cases, the symptoms subside on their own. In some cases, doctors might recommend bed rest, drinking plenty of fluids, and taking over-counter medications to reduce body aches and fever.  
  • Fungal infections can be treated by anti-fungal medications.  
  • Other causes of meningitis are treated by antiviral and antibiotic medications until they find their real cause.  

Meningitis is a serious rare infectious disease that can be life-threatening and, in some cases, lead to death. So, whenever you experience any symptoms of this disease, visit a doctor to confirm, so that prompt treatment can reduce the chances of complications.  

Want to know more about Meningitis? At Doral Health and Wellness, we have doctors of Infectious diseases that can help you manage your condition. For more information, you can visit us at 1797 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, 11212, or call us at 1-347-384-5690. You can also visit our website at https://doralhw.org or contact us at info@doralhw.org if you have any queries.