Meningitis is the inflammation of the meninges, a three-layered membrane covering the brain and spinal cord. There are different types of meningitis -bacterial, viral, and fungal that cause infection. Bacterial meningitis can be life-threatening and spreads between people in close contact with each other. Viral meningitis tends to be less severe, and most people recover completely without treatment. Fungal meningitis is a very rare type.
Meningitis being infectious in nature and contagious can spread through physical touch and air. Microbial species such as Streptococcus, Mycobacterium, and Enteroviruses are commonly diagnosed as the causal organisms of meningitis.
Non-infectious meningitis is often caused due to injuries or co-morbid conditions like cancer and hypersensitivities. It is a very common type of infection and is usually not life threatening. Meningitis is common irrespective of gender and age, however, is commonly seen in newborns.
Signs And Symptoms
- Fever and chills
- Loss of appetite
- Lethargic and sleepiness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stiffness of the neck and sensitivity to light
Since meningitis is caused by bacteria or viruses, they can spread through coughing, sneezing, kissing, or sharing eating utensils, a toothbrush or a cigarette. It is advised to follow certain hygiene practices to prevent infection such as washing your hands -use sanitizers, follow good hygiene practices, stay away from people with meningitis or any other infections, and eat a well-balanced diet that helps to boost immunity and fight infections.
Bacterial meningitis can be prevented by giving proper vaccinations for infants like Hib vaccine, PCV13 and Meningococcal conjugate vaccine.