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Meningitis Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

What Is Meningitis?

It is the inflammation of membranes covering our brain and spinal cord.

What Are The Symptoms Of Meningitis?

Viral meningitis is far more common as compared to bacterial meningitis. It is milder and mostly occurs in the last weeks of summer of early weeks of winter. Children and adults below the age of thirty are more prone to become affected.

On the other hand, bacterial meningitis is comparatively aggressive and requires a prompt treatment. Its symptoms arise rapidly, and can include:

  • Stiff neck.
  • Severe headache.
  • Sensitivity to light.
  • Changes in mental status.
  • Fever.
  • Chills.

Few other symptoms that can also accompany with the above mentioned symptoms include:

  • Decreased alertness.
  • Agitation.
  • Rapid breathing.
  • Bulging fontanelles (babies).
  • Irritability (children).
  • Poor feeding.
  • Opisthotonic posturing.

The condition tends to be a major reason of fever in newborns and children. One cannot decide whether he or she is suffering from viral meningitis or bacterial meningitis by the feel. For the purpose, immediate medical assistance is what one must seek for. In case you notice the above mentioned symptoms, do not delay to call up for an appointment with your doctor.

What Causes Meningitis?

Viral infection tends to be the most common trigger of meningitis. Often, meningitis caused by viral infections get better with no specific treatment, though if meningitis is sourced by a bacterial infection, the condition can turn very serious. It can lead to brain damage and even death, despite the treatment. In addition to this, meningitis can also be instigated by:

  • Tumors.
  • Parasites.
  • Fungi.
  • Drug allergies.
  • Chemical irritation.

Majority instances of viral meningitis occur because of enteroviruses. Few other types of viruses, identified for rooting meningitis are:

  • Herpes viruses.
  • Viruses responsible for causing HIV and mumps.
  • West Nile virus.

What Are The Potential Complications Of Meningitis?

Certain complications associated with meningitis are:

How Is Meningitis Diagnosed?

During the visit, the doctor will perform a careful physical examination, this may reveal:

  • Stiff neck.
  • Changes in mental status.
  • Fever.
  • Fast heart beat.

In case the doctor doubts the patient is suffering from meningitis, he or she will conduct a lumbar puncture in order to take the sample of cerebrospinal fluid for testing. Besides, few other tests the doctor can suggest are:

  • CT scan (head).
  • Chest X-ray.
  • Blood culture.

How Is Meningitis Treated?

For treating the bacterial meningitis, the doctor can prescribe a course of antibiotics. Before which, the doctor will identify which bacteria has caused meningitis. Viral meningitis is not treated by means of antibiotics. For meningitis caused by herpes virus, the doctor can prescribe antiviral medicine. Few other treatments of meningitis are:

  • Medicines for managing or easing the symptoms including seizures, shock and brain swelling.
  • Intravenous fluids.

By : Natural Health News

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