Meningitis

Meningitis

It is a serious infection of the meninges which was the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord.

  • Aseptic Meningitis
  • Bacterial Meningitis
  • Fungal Meningitis
  • Parasitic Meningitis
  • Amebic Meningitis
  • Non-infectious Meningitis

Signs / Symptoms

What's common signs of meningitis?

  • Stiff neck
  • Fever
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Altered mental status – Confusion
  • Headaches
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures 
  • Sleepiness or difficulty waking
  • Skin rash

Common causes

What's common causes of meningitis?

  • Bacteria
  • Fungi 
  • Viruses
  • Parasites
  • Ameba
  • Medical conditions such as cancer, lupus, drugs, brain surgery, head trauma

Departments & Emergency

If an individual has one or more sign and symptoms it is recommended to see: 

  • Emergency Room
  • Internal Medicine
  • Infectious Disease and Clinical Microbiology
  • Neurology
  • Neurosurgery

Diagnosis

It is based on clinical assessment.

  • Medical history
  • Physical examination
  • Blood cultures
  • Imaging tests
  • Lumbar puncture
  • PCR
  • Rapid diagnostic tests such as agglutination tests

Treatment

It is important to start treatment as soon as possible. 

  • Bacterial meningitis is treated with several antibiotics. 
  • Viral meningitis can be treated with antiviral medications
  • Vaccines are way to protect against certain types of bacterial meningitis.
  • Do not smoke and avoid cigarette smoke
  • Get plenty of rest and fluid
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Pain medications to help fever and aches

FAQ

Am I at risk?

Anyone can get meningitis or septicemia, but various factors can increase the risk: age, geography and environment, medical conditions related immune system, contact with a patients or risky people.

Can meningitis and septicemia be prevented? 

Vaccines give excellent protection, but cannot yet prevent all forms.

 

Resources: WHO, Mayo Clinic, CDC, NIH, Medscape, Meningitis Research Foundation

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