It can be critical due to the proximity of the inflammation to the spinal cord and brain. If it is not treated promptly, meningitis may bring about grave lasting consequences like epilepsy, deafness, cognitive deficits and hydrocephalus. Immunization may prevent some types of meningitis. The meningitis type and the cause can be ascertained by a doctor with test results of the laboratory.
Viral meningitis or aseptic meningitis has been found to be the most frequent meningitis type and it is less serious compared to bacterial meningitis. Most aseptic meningitis cases are owing to viruses named enteroviruses which are capable of infecting the small intestine and stomach. A few cases are due to diverse viruses called arboviruses, which are transmitted through infected mosquitoes. Viral meningitis cases are rarely fatal and as a rule the patients get complete recovery.
Bacterial meningitis often is more serious compared to aseptic meningitis, especially in the elderly and infants. Before the commencement of extensive use of antibiotics, 70% or more cases of bacterial meningitis were fatal; by means of antibiotic treatment, now the fatal cases have gone down to 15% or even less. In the spring and winter, bacterial meningitis is found to be most frequent. Most bacterial meningitis cases are instigated by three bacteria: Haemophilus influenzae, Streptococcus pneomoniae or Neisseria meningitides.
Meningitis cannot be considered as highly contagious. Both bacterial meningitis and viral meningitis can get propagated by straight contact with secretions of throat and nose. Healthy people having no signs of the disease can carry the bacteria inside their throat or nose and propagate them infecting others. Sharing a cup, glass or utensil for eating, sneezing or coughing into another person’s face or cigarette sharing are instances of ways for occurrences of contact with respiratory secretions of another person. Viral meningitis can get transmitted as a result of faecal contamination over and above respiratory secretions as a person with the infection excretes or sheds virus in the stool.
Signs and symptoms of meningitis
The most frequent meningitis symptoms are neck stiffness and headache coupled with confusion or distorted consciousness, vomiting, fever and incapability of tolerating loud noises or phonophobia and light or phtophobia. At times, particularly in small kids merely nonspecific symptoms are present for example, drowsiness and irritability. When there is the presence of a rash, it may signify a specific cause for meningitis; for example, meningitis brought about through meningococcal bacteria can be associated with a distinctive rash.
Diagnosis and treatment of meningitis
The test of cerebrospinal fluid can be performed for ascertaining the meningitis type bringing about the symptoms. Such detection is essential in choosing effectual antibiotics to treat cases of bacterial meningitis.
Treatment of patients with aseptic or viral meningitis usually involves diminishing fever and ensuring their intake of a lot of liquids. However, all three bacterial meningitis forms need the instant medical attention from a doctor and treatment can be done with numerous antibiotics. Proper meningitis treatment with antibiotics for most bacterial meningitis types should decrease the rate of fatality to about 10% although the rate of fatality is elevated in infants, elderly people and individuals with some causal medical conditions.
Prevention of meningitis
Transmission of bacterial and viral meningitis may be prevented by lifting the hygiene level among people with infection risk and among persons who may be propagating the disease. Proper technique of hand washing is of primary importance. Hands should be washed thoroughly after respiratory secretions exposure together with handling of mucky handkerchiefs and tissues. People should cover the mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing and throw away used tissues quickly.