Meningitis is an inflammation of the protective membranes of the brain. The protective membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord are called meninges. In fact, the meninges is a membrane that is located between the brain and the skull bone or the spinal cord and the vertebral column. The meninges may become inflamed due to various factors such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasite. Or it might occur because of certain drugs, and lead to meningitis. Since the meningeal membrane is very close to the brain and spinal cord, its inflammation can be very dangerous. For this reason, meningitis is classified as a dangerous disease that requires medical emergencies. Meningitis can affect anyone, from newborns to adults, everyone can get meningitis. And the risk of contracting it does not know any specific age.

Types of meningitis

This disease is often caused by bacteria or viruses. Factors such as physical injury, disease and certain drugs can also lead to the occurrence of this disease. Actually, there are 5 types of meningitis: bacterial, viral, parasitic, fungal and non-infectious. The symptoms of all types are similar to each other, but there are also differences. The treatment of this disease is different according to its cause, so it is important to diagnose its cause.

Bacterial meningitis

Bacterial type is a life – threatening disease that, if not diagnosed and treated in time, can cause serious complications such as brain damage, hearing loss, and eventually death. This form of the disease usually occurs when bacteria enter the bloodstream. These bacteris are transferred to the brain and spinal cord.

These bacteria can be spread from person to person through coughing, sneezing, or saliva (when kissing or mouth-to-mouth breathing). Certain forms of bacterial type can also be caused by eating contaminated food.

Bacterial type can be treated with antibiotics. The best way to protect against bacterial type is vaccination.

Viral meningitis

Viral type is more common than its bacterial type and is usually less severe. Most cases of viral meningitis are caused by enterovirus. But other common viruses such as measles, mumps, chicken pox and herpes simplex can also cause the disease.

The symptoms of viral type are similar to the symptoms of the bacterial type of the disease. The virus does not grow in the cerebrospinal fluid, which is why the viral form of this disease often resolves on its own without treatment. The use of antiviral drugs may also be necessary. In some cases, depending on factors such as the type of virus causing the infection, the age of the patient and the weakness of the immune system, the disease can be fatal.

Viruses that cause viral type can also be transmitted through eye, nose, and mouth secretions or blister secretions.

The viral type of this disease usually recovers within 7 to 10 days. Adequate rest and taking painkillers and antiviral drugs can help relieve symptoms. To prevent viral type, wash your hands thoroughly and avoid direct contact with a person who has this disease.

Other types

Parasitic meningitis
This form of the disease causes a brain infection that progresses rapidly over 1 to 12 days. Parasitic type symptoms appear 1 to 7 days after the infection enters the body. The disease – ausing parasite has been found worldwide in warm freshwater sources (such as lakes, rivers, and hot springs), soil, water discharged from industrial sources, swimming pools, and water heaters. The microscopic organism enters the body through the nose and goes to the brain, where it begins to destroy the brain tissue.

Fungal type occurs due to fungus entering the bloodstream. People with a weak immune system are more at risk of contracting this type of disease. Fungal type is often caused by inhaling fungal spores from contaminated soil or bird or bat droppings. Treatment involves taking long courses of high-dose antifungal drugs, usually administered in a hospital through an intravenous injection. The type of fungus and the condition of the patient’s immune system determine the duration of treatment.

Cryptococcal meningitis, which is caused by a fungus, is the most common form of meningitis in people with HIV.

Signs and symptoms

The first symptoms that appear in this disease are usually fever and chills, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, headache, neck pain, lethargy, feeling sick and sick.
Pain in the limbs, pale skin and cold hands and feet are the next symptoms.
Other symptoms of meningitis include irritability, skin rash, neck stiffness, seizures, sensitivity to light, drowsiness, confusion, change in mental state, and alertness.
The symptoms of viral and bacterial type can be similar at first, although the symptoms of bacterial type are usually more severe.
Meningitis symptoms can vary according to age.

Symptoms of meningitis in infants

This disease in infants may cause the following symptoms:

loss of appetite
Drowsiness and difficulty waking up
Constant crying that gets louder when you hold the baby.
A bump in the soft area above the child’s head
Weak sucking
Sensitivity to light and neck stiffness are less common in young children.

Diagnosis methods

There are several tests to confirm the diagnosis and check whether meningitis is viral or bacterial. These tests may include the following:
Physical examination to look for signs of meningitis
A blood test to check for bacteria or viruses.
Lumbar puncture: Sampling of the fluid around the spinal cord through the spine
CT scan or MRI: to check for any problems in the brain, such as swelling, brain abscess, or sinusitis.
Blood culture: This test can identify the bacteria in the blood and also determine the appropriate antibiotic for treatment.

Treatment Methods

Doctors treat this disease according to its cause.
The bacterial type of the disease requires immediate hospitalization. Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent brain damage and death.

Bacterial type can be treated with intravenous antibiotics. Because bacterial type can be so serious, physicians usually start antibiotic therapy .
The viral type resolves on its own. Antibiotics cannot cure viral meningitis. But for some types of viral antibiotics are necessary.

By roya

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