What is meningitis?
The infection that causes inflammation of the lining of the brain (Manning) and spinal cord.
Description of the disease (causes, incidence, physiology)
Meningitis caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi and irritative effects of chemical substances. The most common cause of bacterial meningitis are bacterial infections in other parts of the body that can spread through the blood to the brain or spinal cord. There are several types of meningitis and is usually divided into acute viral and bacterial, and subacute and chronic meningitis (eg, tuberculous, cryptococcal, sifilitički, ...) which are milder and longer flow. Acute bacterial meningitis is a serious condition that must immediately begin to heal in order to prevent permanent damage. Bacteria that cause meningitis are Neisseria meningitidis (meningitis), Streptococcus pneumoniae (Streptococcus), Haemophilus influenzae in children (increasingly rare after the introduction of vaccination).
Who gets (risk factors)?
Common Viral meningitis is milder and occurs more often than bacterial meningitis. It affects people younger than 30 years. Seventy percent of infections occurred in children younger than 5 years. Frequently the enterovirus. Other types of viral meningitis are rare, but serious. Meningitis (causing meningitis) is located in the nose and throat in 5% of the people. Only a small number of them are diagnosed. Meningococcal meningitis can occur in outbreaks in closed groups, for example. schools with dormitories and barracks.
Pneumococcus is the most common cause of meningitis in adults. Risk group are alcoholics, people with chronic ear infections, sinus infections, closed head injury, pneumonia, or a person without a spleen.
Inflammation of the airways is usually preceded by fever, headache, stiff neck and vomiting. Additional symptoms that may be associated with this disease are: sensitivity to light (photophobia), altered state of consciousness (sensitivity, restlessness, confusion, drowsiness to coma), followed by neck pain and muscle pain, speech disorder, and others.
In young children aged 3 months to 2 years the symptoms are less predictable. Fever, vomiting, irritability, cramping the whole body, screams and tense fontanelle are the most common symptoms, and neck stiffness may be absent.
What results can a doctor do?
lumbar puncture and CSF examination (glucose, cell count, fecal culture);
X-rays of the head, sinus and chest;
CT of the head due to possible abscess or deep swelling of the brain.
Treatment for meningitis conducted in the hospital. In the treatment of bacterial meningitis, antibiotics are used, depending on the meningitis bacterium. Antibiotics are not effective in the treatment of viral meningitis. For the treatment of secondary symptoms, brain edema, shock, and seizures will require other medications.
If meningitis is not treated or complicated disease may cause:
loss of vision;
limb weakness (paresis).
With suspected meningitis should immediately seek medical attention! Early treatment is key to a good outcome.
Vaccination against Haemophilus influenzae (in children aged 2 months to 4 years). Vaccination with us is not mandatory, but it is available.
Family members and others who were in close contact with patients with meningococcal meningitis should receive an antibiotic (rifampicin).