Meningitis – Cause, Types, Symptoms and Treatment

Meningitis is basically the inflammation of the membranes that covers the brain and spinal cord. These membranes are collectively known as meninges.

Meningitis is commonly caused by the following:

• Bacteria
• Viruses
• Infections
• Weak immune system
• Aseptic
• Parasitic
• Non-infectious

There are two common types of meningitis, which are:

• Viral Meningitis – This type is a bit tough to determine and sometime it can’t be distinguished from flu. There are various viruses that cause this and they are known as enteroviruses, coxsackieviruses, echoviruses and herpesviruses. This type is rarely fatal especially if the individual has normal immune system and the symptoms may last 7-10 days only. This type can be diagnosed via laboratory test of the spinal fluid. There is no particular treatment since most patients of the type of meningitis are able to recover on their own. However, the usual doctor’s recommendation is bed rest, drinking plenty of fluids and taking fever reliever.

• Bacterial Meningitis – This type is more severe than viral meningitis. It can have serious after effects including brain damage, hearing problem, limp amputation and learning issues. Neisseria meningitides, streptococcus pnuemoniae and haemophilus influenzae Serotype B disease are the leading cause of this. Vaccination is now provided by health organizations in United States for these bacteria that will lead to meningitis.

Meningitis is characterized by the following symptoms:

• Headache
• Neck stiffness
• Fever
• Confusion or altered consciousness
• Vomiting
• Photophobia or inability to tolerate light
• Phonophobia or the inability to tolerate loud noise
• Irritability
• Drowsiness

Prevention and Treatments
Prior to thinking about the treatment for meningitis it is better to first seek prevention. Immunization and vaccination for bacteria and viruses are the two suggested prevention methods to avert meningitis attack. Do not also forget to have a healthy diet to boost the immune system against the attack of the said bacteria and viruses. In addition, meningitis can be treated by antibiotics, steroids and therapy.

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