Meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges, the delicate tissue that covers the brain and spinal cord. Meningitis comes in a variety of forms. Viral meningitis is the most frequent type. When a virus enters the body through the mouth or nose and moves to the brain, you contract it. Although it is uncommon, bacterial meningitis can be fatal. Bacteria that cause an infection that resembles a cold usually cause it to start. It may result in brain damage, hearing loss, and stroke. Other organs may also suffer damage. The most frequent causes of bacterial meningitis are meningococcal and pneumococcal infections.
Meningitis can affect anyone, but those with weakened immune systems are more likely to contract it. Meningitis can soon become life-threatening. Immediately seek medical attention if you have:
- An abruptly high fever
- A very bad headache
- A stiff neck
- Nausea or diarrhea
Serious issues, including mortality, can often be avoided with early treatment. Blood tests, imaging studies, and a spinal tap to check the cerebrospinal fluid are all used to diagnose meningitis. Bacterial meningitis can be treated with antibiotics. Some forms of viral meningitis may be helped by antiviral medications. Other drugs can aid in the treatment of symptoms. Some of the bacterial diseases that cause meningitis are preventable with vaccinations.