In the US alone, 500 people die every year due to bacterial meningitis. A further 4000 people find themselves admitted to the hospital due to the symptoms of the condition intensifying. While these statistics may not be a major cause of concern, the disease itself can be pretty alarming. Thereby, it is important to be aware of all the information present.
This article is the all you need guide to understand complications relating to Meningitis. It will give a detailed insight into the disease.
Thin membranes called meninges cover our brain and spinal cord. They are three of them and play a vital role in the protection of the nervous system. A variety of reasons inflame the meninges. In most reported cases, the bacterial infection causes the inflammation. A viral infection or cancer, drug allergies in other instances may also be responsible for the condition to develop.
Not all, but few types of meningitis are contagious. Meaning by, the disease can spread from one person to another through different means. One person infected with the condition can affect the other either through coughing or physical contact.
For every disease, it is important to keep note of the symptoms. This is important as to make an informed decision as well as seek medical treatment as quickly as possible. Both viral and bacterial meningitis can appear to be very similar on the basis of their symptoms. However, the bacterial one happens to be more serious in most situations. Regardless, the symptoms of the condition start becoming expressive gradually. It is thereby important to be aware of any signs that may indicate its presence.
The following symptoms mentioned below may characterize people with meningitis.
- Nausea and vomiting
- High grade fever
- Insomnia and disturbed sleep schedule
- Bodily pains particularly the neck region
- Reduced hunger which results in gradual weight loss
People with bacterial meningitis will share a lot of the same characteristics as the viral one. However, the bacterial one will additionally cause high sensitivity to light, headaches and chills.
For any illness, self diagnosing and treatment can be a problem. It is important to note that symptoms of meningitis can be extremely serious and alarming in most instances. As a result, making it even more important to seek professional treatment as early as possible.
What to know about the meningitis rash?
An important way to characterize bacterial meningitis is to look for the rash that may appear on the skin. The bacterial organism that causes the condition is able to multiply itself when present in the bloodstream. This bacteria attacks the surrounding capillaries causing a lot of cell damage. The result of which is blood leak. This in turn leads to the development of red rashes on the skin that can be troublesome. More visible on the light-toned skin, these rashes grow over time. The person may feel irritable and would need to seek medical treatment to avoid further complication.
Like every other medical illness, meningitis has a long list of causes. The type one is inflicted with will determine the cause. It is important to classify the causes into two broad categories. First is the one caused by microorganisms like bacteria, virus and fungi. The second classification is essentially the external factor that can lead to the development of the illness.
The microorganisms like bacteria, virus and fungi need a medium to enter the blood. That can happen ether through physical contact or any other external medium. When they enter the body, they are able to leak into the bloodstream. By multiplying inside, they grow larger in number ultimately reaching the spinal cord and brain region. It is here when the meninges start to become inflamed.
The external causes for meningitis can be anything that doesn’t involve an infection. It can either be due to certain drug allergies or cancer that affects the meninges. One major contributor, in some cases, was physical injury.
On the fortunate side of the story, there are vaccines available for meningitis. The body produces antibodies to attack the invader through vaccination. The field of medical science has been able to come up with a number of vaccinations for bacterial meningitis. Meningococcal conjugate vaccine, MenB are the two common types of vaccines used for preventive purposes. The former is more effective in the sense that it has longer productivity. There might be mild side effects as consequences. People having Meningococcal Conjugate vaccine were known to suffer from low grade fever and soreness in the skin.
There are certain people who are recommended to get themselves vaccinated for meningitis. These groups consist of people who stand at a higher chance of being inflicted. Those include people who live in hostels or are travelling to a country where the condition is widespread. Children starting from the age of two up to the age of 12 years old should get themselves vaccinated before the condition becomes serious.
Should people without the condition be worried?
You will in frequent instances come across this question. People who are not inflicted with the condition but have some sort of contact with those who have, will be extremely worried. A number of medical professional report that patients tend to ask how contagious can meningitis become?
The type of the condition is the person affected with will determine the answer to the question. While bacteria and viral meningitis are contagious, fungal and parasitic ones are not. Viral and bacteria type can spread from one person to another through any physical or direct contact. It can happen either through coughing or sneezing or through the exchange of bodily fluids. Some locations and places are more vulnerable than others. College dorms, daycare centers and even primary schools have the presence of micro-organisms known to cause the disease. As a result, making it important for the administration to take meaningful actions in that regard. On the other hand, people should take precautionary steps to lessen their chances of infliction.
The aforementioned discussion left us with the question about prevention. What are some of the ways that can be carried out to prevent the disease from occurring?
Medical professionals, fortunately, have been able to identify some steps that can be carried out as to reduce the chances of any infliction. Those steps include firstly maintaining a healthy lifestyle coupled with the good amount of rest and sleep. Smoking is a big NO as it can at times intensify the symptoms of the condition. Physical contact should be avoided with people who are diagnosed with the condition. If by chance you had some contact, taking certain antibiotics can lessen the chances of symptoms of becoming expressive.