Sunday, November 27, 2022

Meningitis: Causes and symptoms

Meningitis is an infection of the protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord (meninges). When the membranes become infected, they swell and press on the spinal cord or brain. This can cause life-threatening problems. Meningitis symptoms strike suddenly and worsen quickly.

A bacterial or viral infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord usually causes the swelling. However, injuries, cancer, certain drugs, and other types of infections also can cause meningitis.

Viral meningitis is the most common and least serious type. Bacterial meningitis is rare, but can be very serious if not treated.

Some cases of meningitis improve without treatment in a few weeks. Others can cause death and require emergency antibiotic treatment.

The viruses and bacteria that cause meningitis can be spread through: sneezing, coughing, and kissing. The infection is usually spread by people who carry these viruses or bacteria in their nose or throat, but are not ill themselves.

Early symptoms of meningitis can include:
*A high temperature (fever)
*Drowsiness or unresponsiveness
*Muscle pain
*Stomach cramps
*Fever with cold hands and feet
*A rash on the skin

It can affect anyone, but is most common in babies, young children, teenagers and young adults. Bacterial meningitis is more common in infants under 1 year of age and people ages 16 to 21. Meningitis can be very serious if not treated quickly. It can cause life-threatening blood poisoning (sepsis) and result in permanent damage to the brain or nerves.
Meningitis: Causes and symptoms

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