Meningitis; It is an inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. This disease requires urgent intervention. Basic symptoms of meningitis; fever, headache and vomiting.
Of course, such situations can occur with other diseases. Therefore, when you have these 3 symptoms and you should go to the health facility quickly.
Viruses are the most common cause of meningitis. However, bacteria, fungi, or parasites can also cause meningitis. People can get meningitis at any age. The risk is very high in newborns and children younger than 1 year. At the same time, people over 60 years old have meningitis.
It is very important for parents to take into account the symptoms of the disease, to start treatment immediately and not to cause harm. Combination vaccines that we had in childhood protect us against meningitis. Regardless, you have to consider the symptoms of the Disease. You should start treatment quickly. Remember that this disease can hurt you.
The most common type of meningitis is caused by viruses. It is less severe than other types. Although bacterial meningitis is rare, it can cause very serious consequences if not treated.
Viruses that cause diseases such as chickenpox, measles, mumps, herpes can cause meningitis. In addition to these, bacteria such as Streptococcus pneumoniae, Neisseria mengitidis, Haemophilus influenza type B are among the causes of meningitis.
Childhood and post-childhood vaccinations protect against most infections that cause illness.
Some of the symptoms that can be seen in meningitis are:
- A fever of 38 degrees and higher
- Severe headache
- Stiff neck
- Neck stiffness
- Avoiding looking into bright light
- Drowsiness and unresponsiveness
- Clouding of consciousness
- Cold hands and feet
- Rapid breathing
- Joint and muscle pain
It is very important to apply to a healthcare facility and especially in cases of high fever, confusion and headache. The main symptoms in children; fever, neck stiffness, headache, confusion, restlessness, nausea, vomiting and inability to look at the light.
If children under 2 years of age have these symptoms, they should be admitted to the hospital;
- Belly of the child’s body raised and head bent backwards
- Eating less,
- Moaning or very high-pitched cry,
- A pale and stained appearance,
- The fontanel in the head is overly stretched and swollen,
- Don’t be stiff.
How Is Meningitis Transmitted?
Viruses and bacteria that cause meningitis can be transmitted by:
- Using common kitchen utensils, dishes and cutlery.
Viruses or bacteria enter the body through the nose, throat or ear and reach the brain, causing an infection.
People of all ages can get meningitis. Studies show that it is more common in these age groups:
- Children under 1 year old
- Teenagers and young adults (16-25 years old)
- Persons over the age of 60
Some people are at risk;
- spleen was damaged and removed,
- People with long-term illness,
- People with immune system disorders.
Some germs that cause meningitis can spread easily. Outbreaks can occur in densely populated areas where people live close to each other.
First, a physical examination is performed by the doctor. Check neck stiffness, flexibility of joints and skin rash.
Blood test: The presence of bacteria and viruses is investigated with incision markers in the blood.
Lumbar puncture: In this procedure performed from the waist, the presence of bacteria and viruses is investigated by taking cerebrospinal fluid with the help of a needle between the lumbar vertebrae.
Computed tomography: It is checked for any anatomical changes in the brain.
Meningitis Treatment Methods
Bacterial meningitis; In a very serious condition, the doctor immediately starts antibiotic treatment. Antibiotics may vary depending on the bacteria detected after the test results. Depending on the age and risk factors of the person, the duration of antibiotic treatment varies for 7-21 days.
Bacterial meningitis is a very serious condition; are treated in the hospital and the patient’s condition is closely monitored. You should also be hospitalized in severe cases of viral meningitis. Although bacterial meningitis is a very dangerous condition and you will recover if your disease is correctly diagnosed and treatment is started immediately. If treatment is not started immediately, hearing loss, permanent seizures, mental disorders and even paralysis may occur.
Viral Meningitis Treatment
If your symptoms are severe, your doctor may prescribe antiviral medications. Plenty of rest is important. In some cases, it may be appropriate to continue the treatment in the hospital.
It is possible to protect children from bacteria called influenza and pneumococcus by vaccination. The pneumonia vaccine applied at 2, 4 and 6 months as childhood vaccines and repeated after 1 year of age provides protection.
If you are having problems with your health, you should go to the doctor or call 911. If you want to know more about these, you should follow U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.