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Meningitis Symptoms and Treatments

Sunday, 06 April 2014 11:34 PM

Are you experiencing flu-like symptoms but are not sure if it is a flu that is causing them?

Sometimes symptoms can be misleading and the actual problem requiring medical attention and treatments can be much different from what you think it is!
Meningitis is a disease that is caused by infection (bacterial or viral) that causes inflammation of the inner lining covering the brain and spinal cord. This lining covers the important parts of the brain and spinal cord, and a bacterial infection in this lining is usually characterized by the presence of meningitis-causing agents (bacterial or viral) present in the cerebrospinal fluid covering the lining.
There are two best known types of meningitis based on the causative agent. The first type is viral meningitis that causes symptoms such as fever and seizures but can be cured with appropriate treatments. The second type is bacterial meningitis, which is a more serious infection and can cause brain damage and serious symptoms and indications that could lead to death in the absence of timely and targeted treatments.
Meningitis is also caused by other types of agents such as medicines and microorganisms. However, incidence of meningitis due to these causes is much lesser compared to bacterial meningitis.

Symptoms of Bacterial Meningitis

Some of the common symptoms of bacterial meningitis include having a stiff and painful neck (especially in the area between the chin and chest). Another one of the characteristic symptoms of bacterial meningitis is the occurrence of seizures. Other types of symptoms such as continuous fever, headache, and vomiting are also common in those affected with bacterial meningitis. People with bacterial meningitis may also experience sleepiness and trouble staying awake as one of the symptoms.
In very small children, the type of symptoms noticed as a result of bacterial meningitis is being cranky and refusing to eat. Some symptoms such as rash and crying when held could be noticed in young babies affected by bacterial meningitis.
Young children and adults experience flu-like symptoms and experience breathing difficulty when they have bacterial meningitis. Older adults who have other types of medical problems may experience milder symptoms such as slight headache and fever when they have bacterial meningitis.

Treatments for Meningitis

Bacterial meningitis treatments are usually preceded by spinal tap or lumbar puncture which is done to procure a sample of the fluid in the area affected by meningitis. The sample is tested for the presence of bacterial, viral, and other meningitis causing agents.
Antibiotic treatments are usually administered for patients with bacterial meningitis. Steroid treatments such as dexamethosone may also be administered in patients with bacterial meningitis while watching out for worsening of symptoms, seizures, and other types of complications such as brain damage and hearing loss.
Viral meningitis is more common and can be easily treated at home by taking antipyretic medicines to lessen fever and pain, and by drinking fluids to prevent dehydration. Viral meningitis symptoms subside in a couple of weeks.
Bacterial meningitis is contagious and is transmitted from one person to another via coughing, sneezing, and by coming in close contact. The symptoms of bacterial meningitis may be noticed in young children and teens very often and immediate treatments are necessary to prevent complications. The elderly and older individuals could be noticing certain types of symptoms of bacterial meningitis.

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Some people exhibit flu-like symptoms when they have meningitis while others may have a combination of symptoms such as seizures, stiff neck, vomiting, and trouble staying awake. Bacterial meningitis causes more serious symptoms and complications such as brain damage.
Sunday, 06 April 2014 11:34 PM
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