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Fungal Meningitis Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

What is Fungal Meningitis?

Fungal Meningitis is inflammation of the lining that surrounds and protects your brain and spinal cord. The inflammation is caused by fungus and can be life-threatening.

Causes of Fungal Meningitis

Fungal Meningitis is relatively uncommon and causes chronic meningitis. It may mimic acute bacterial meningitis. Fungal meningitis isn’t contagious from person to person. Cryptococcal meningitis is a common fungal form of the disease that affects people with immune deficiencies, such as AIDS. It’s life-threatening if not treated with an antifungal medication.

Symptoms of Fungal Meningitis

The Symptoms of Fungal Meningitis are as follows:

Early meningitis symptoms may mimic the flu (influenza). Symptoms may develop over several hours or over a few days.

Possible signs and symptoms in anyone older than the age of 2 include:

  • Sudden high fever
  • Stiff neck
  • Severe headache that seems different than normal
  • Headache with nausea or vomiting
  • Confusion or difficulty concentrating
  • Seizures
  • Sleepiness or difficulty waking
  • Sensitivity to light
  • No appetite or thirst
  • Skin rash (sometimes, such as in meningococcal meningitis)

Diagnosis of Fungal Meningitis

If meningitis is suspected, samples of blood or cerebrospinal fluid (near the spinal cord) are collected and sent to a laboratory for testing. Knowing the specific cause of meningitis is important because the severity of illness and the treatment will differ depending on the cause.
To confirm fungal meningitis, specific lab tests can be performed, depending on the type of fungus suspected.

Treatment of Fungal Meningitis

The Treatment of Fungal Meningitis is as follows:

  • Fungal meningitis is treated with long courses of high-dose IV antifungal medications.
  • Depending on the type of infection, other antifungals may also be used.
  • For example, amphotericin B (Ambisome, Amphotec) is the most common treatment for cryptococcal meningitis, caused by the fungus Cryptococcus neoformans.
  • Amphotericin B may also be used to treat a rare type of parasitic meningitis caused by Naegleria fowleri.
  • Alternatively, the antifungal agent miconazole and the antibiotic rifampin may be used.
  • In addition to the above medications, corticosteroids may be used to reduce meningitis inflammation.
  • Diazepam (Valium) or phenytoin (Dilantin) can help treat seizures, which may occur with bacterial and N. fowleri infections.

By : Natural Health News

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