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What is meningitis and what are its treatments?


Date: 14 Jul 2016    Group: Doctors    Category: Neurology   

What is the disease known as meningitis? Is it an infectious disease or caused by mosquitoes bite? What are its symptoms and how it is diagnosed? What preventive measures can be taken to prevent meningitis? Is there any vaccine available for meningitis?
Experts: do resolve the queries.


Looking out for all the information about meningitis? Wondering about its treatment? On this page you will get all the answers to your queries.


Author: Soundharya    17 Jul 2016      Member Level: Gold     Points : 6  (Rs 6)    Voting Score: 0

WHAT IS MENINGITIS?

The brain and the spinal cord are covered by a delicate membrane called Meninges. A rare infection that affects the meninges is called as Meningitis. The infection is not caused by mosquito bites but is caused mainly by deadly bacteria, virus and fungus. The meningitis which is caused by bacteria is severe and is communicable. The bacteria will spread from one person to another through sneezing and coughing. Bacterial meningitis is a deadly infection which may leads to death. The viral meningitis is less severe compared to the meningitis caused by the bacteria and is curable through certain therapies. Fungal meningitis is a rare infection and it occurs in people who have weaker immune system.

WHO WILL GET AFFECTED BY MENINGITIS?

• Children below 5 years
• Young adults
• Adults over age 50

SYMPTOMS OF MENINGITIS:

The common symptoms of the meningitis are

• Fever
• Severe headache
• Neck pain
• Vomiting
• Body pain
• Irritation of eye and eye pain
• Weight loss
• Nausea
• Skin rash
• Cough and flu

DIAGNOSIS OF MENINGITIS:

Meningitis can be diagnosed by a physical examination of health and health history. During the examination the doctors will look for fever, heart rate and other physical and mental activities of a person.

Meningitis can also be diagnosed through lumbar puncture. During this diagnosis the patient has to lie with knees drawn up towards the chest. An anaesthetic will be put in the skin between the bones of the lower spine. After that a long needle will be put in the spinal canal to collect a sample of CerebroSpinal Fluid (CSF). The CSF sample will be then tested in the lab. If the fluid appears to be cloudy with white blood cells then the person is suffering from meningitis. The CSF culture will be done to check for the growth of bacteria or fungi. The samples of blood, urine and secretions from ears or nose will also be tested. Based on the lab analysis, one can determine the type of meningitis.

Also CT scan and Chest X-rays will also be taken to check for the brain abscess and the presence of TB, pneumonia and other fungal infections.

TREATMENT OF MENINGITIS:

Bacterial meningitis is a deadly infection and should be treated quickly. The person who gets affected by this bacterial infection will be admitted in the hospital in an isolated room and will be provided with many drugs and antibiotics. The bacterial meningitis is more contagious and the treatment will happen more protectively.

Viral meningitis is less severe and the patient who gets affected by this viral infection will be cured in a few days through some pain killers and drugs. And for fungal meningitis the patient will be provided with antifungal medications and some drugs to cure the pain and fever in the hospital.

PREVENTIVE MEASURES:

Maintaining a healthy life style is more important. Some of the preventive measures for meningitis are

• Take more rest if you are affected with any type of infections.
• Avoid smoking
• Infections are contagious, so avoid close contact with the infected people
• Take vaccinations to prevent meningitis

VACCINES TO PREVENT MENINGITIS:

Vaccination helps to protect a person from certain types of meningitis. The vaccinations that prevents meningitis are

? Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine
? Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccine
? Meningococcal vaccine



Author: Reena Upadhya    24 Jul 2016      Member Level: Silver     Points : 6  (Rs 6)    Voting Score: 0

Brain and spinal cord are covered with membranes known as meninges which act as protective layers. When the fluid surrounding brain and spinal cord gets infected, result in inflammation of these protective layers. As a result, swelling develops which is known as meningitis. However, it is rare in occurrence.

Causes:-
1) Viruses
Enteroviruses,
Arboviruses
Herpes simplex,
2) Bacteria
Meningococcus,
Pneumococcus
3) Fungus
Cryptococcus,
Histoplasma
4) Amoebia
Naegleria fowleri
5) Parasites
6)Trauma
7) Consequence of a drug reaction
8) Cancer
9) Autoimmune disorders
10) Brain surgery
11) Systemic lupus erythematosus

Symptoms:-
Symptoms vary in relation to age and cause of meningitis. In certain cases, patient shows quick onset of signs and symptoms whereas in other cases, symptoms may take several days or even weeks to appear. Some of the symptoms of meningitis are:-
1) Headache,
2) Cold,
3) Nausea,
4) Vomiting,
5) Fever,
6) Diarrhea,
7) Sensitivity of eyes to light,
8) Seizures,
9) Rashes on skin surface,
10) Irritation,
11) Stiffness in neck,
12) Seizures

Diagnosis:-
Doctor checks area around head, throat, spine for easy signs of infections and inflammation.
Along with physical check up, certain tests are done. They are:-
1) CT Scan of chest,
2) CT Scan of head,
3) X rays of chest,
4) MR Scan of head,
5) Blood cultures,
6) Spinal tap,
7) Polymerase chain reaction amplification,
8) CSF analysis,
9) Urine test

Preventive Measures:-
1) Getting vaccinated against meningitis can prevent its occurrence.
2) Meningitis spreads through throat and respiratory secretions. Thus, one can protect oneself by not coming in contact with infected people and thus not share with them water bottles or drinking glasses. Also, sharing a kiss and other personal belongings like lip gloss, lip stick, tooth brush, spoons, cigarettes etc..... should be avoided.
3) Coughing and sneezing cause easy spread of meningitis. Thus, an infected person should keep a kerchief or wear a mouth mask so that spray does not go further resulting in spread of infection whereas others should maintain a little distance from them for their own protection.
4) Maintaining personal hygiene is very essential. Washing hands vigorously with hot water along with some sanitizer or soapy water after coming from outside or after every use of bathroom is highly recommendable. Both backs and fronts of palms along with fingers should be rinsed for at least 20 seconds for thorough cleansing.
5) Always use clean, dirt-free towels and napkins. Do not share them with anyone.
6) If one feels that they have accidentally come in contact with meningitis patient, they should immediately seek medical support. Antibiotics prescribed can reduce the risk of infection.
7) Boost your immune system by taking good care of it. Follow a healthy nutritious diet which includes lots of fruits, vegetables, sprouts, whole grains, proteins, dairy products, lean meat etc.....
8) Quit smoking.
9) Adequate rest is very essential.

Vaccination:-
1) Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4),
2) Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) vaccine,
3) Meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine (MPSV4),
4) Serogroup B Meningococcal B

Treatment:-
1) Immediate hospitalization,
2) Complete isolation of patient from others,
3) Intravenous antibiotics,
4) Antifungal agents,
5) Intravenous fluids,
6) Fluids intake in plenty to avoid dehydration,
7) Drugs to control pain and fever,
8) Bed rest,
9) Corticosteroids to reduce brain inflammation,
10) For seizures, anticonvulsants are given.









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