What Is Meningitis?
Meningitis is the inflammation of the protective layers surrounding the brain and spinal cord, namely the meninges. Bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi, and noncommunicable conditions can cause meningitis.
What Are The Types of Meningitis?
The types of meningitis are named according to their cause and how long they have persisted. These may be;
Acute meningitis: Bacterial meningitis is usually acute, meaning symptoms are severe and appear suddenly.
Parasitic meningitis (meningitis caused by some parasites.)
Drug-induced aseptic meningitis: Rarely, some medications cause drug-induced aseptic meningitis. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics are the most common causes of drug-induced aseptic meningitis.
Chronic meningitis. When meningitis lasts a month or more, it is called chronic meningitis.
Meningitis after spinal anesthesia.
Who Is at Higher Risk of meningitis?
The following people are at higher risk for meningitis:
Children and infants under five years of age. The majority of all cases of bacterial meningitis affect children and infants under the age of five.
People with a weakened immune system. It is possible that those living with HIV or cancer, those who have organ or bone marrow transplants, or those who use drugs that suppress the immune system have weakened the immune system.
People with cerebrospinal fluid leakage.
People who do not have a spleen or who have a damaged spleen.
Living in or travelling to places where infectious diseases that cause meningitis are common.
People with chronic nose and ear infections, pneumococcal pneumonia, or a common blood infection.
People with a head injury, traumatic brain injury, or spinal cord injury.
People living with sickle cell disease.
People with alcohol dependence
What Are The Symptoms of Meningitis?
Vomiting (vomiting without nausea).
Kernig, Brudzinski positivity.
Castings on the body.
How Is Viral Meningitis Treated?
Antibiotics cannot kill viruses, and using antibiotics in the absence of bacterial infection can cause harmful effects such as developing antibiotic resistance.
There is usually no specific treatment for mild viral meningitis.
Most often, people recover from viral meningitis in seven to ten days with rest, antipyretics or pain medications, and a little more than proper fluid intake.
But if meningitis from the herpes virus or the flu is present, the doctor may recommend an antiviral medication.
How Is Bacterial Meningitis Treated?
It is treated with one or more antibiotics that target the bacteria that cause the infection.
What Are the Treatment Methods in Other Types of Meningitis?
Fungal meningitis is treated with long-term high-dose intravenous antifungal drugs.
Other antifungals may also be used, depending on the type of infection.
Corticosteroids may be used in addition to the above medications to reduce meningitis inflammation. This is especially important in bacterial meningitis, which is why steroids are often given with antibiotics.