What is meningitis?

Meningitis is inflammation of the meninges, membranes that cover the Central Nervous System, that is, the brain and spinal cord. Due to this inflammation, pressure builds up on the nerves in the brain and spinal cord, producing great pain.

What are the causes of meningitis?

The most common cause of meningitis is an infection It can be bacterial, viral or fungal. Also, although much less frequent, it can be caused by parasites or by some other type of non-infectious cause, such as surgery, trauma, or another illness.

Depending on the cause that triggered the meningitis, the most appropriate treatment will be applied, for example, if it is due to a bacterial infection, the treatment is based on strong antibiotics. Meningitis is a very serious disease, if you think you may have it, go immediately to the emergency medical services and do not try to guess the cause on your own because it is not possible to know without carrying out specific tests.

Some forms of infectious meningitis are contagious and everyone who has been in contact with the patient will also receive treatment to prevent them from also developing the disease. The doctor who treats the patient will properly guide him, as well as those who have been with him, about the procedure to be followed.

The symptoms

There are four symptoms that can alert you to possible meningitis. Care must be taken because these symptoms are different in children (see next point). In general, these 4 symptoms are common in any type of meningitis:

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Fever Headache Torticollis or torticollis with or without pain Photophobia (sensitivity to light)

It’s not necessary to have all the symptoms to have meningitis, but if you have at least three, just go to the doctor without waiting any longer for him to make a proper diagnosis.

Another symptom derived from the above is that the patient may feel confused, dizzy and may become unconscious. Regardless of the cause, if a person becomes unconscious, emergency services must be notified.

Other secondary symptoms are typical of virtually any infectious process:

fatigue and weakness nausea, vomiting Loss of appetite

If you experience, or see in another person, any of the main symptoms along with the secondary symptoms, you should see a doctor.

Differences in symptoms in childhood meningitis

Meningitis does not always manifest in children in the same way as it does in adults or teenagers. The main difference is that a young child can’t communicate the exact symptoms, can’t describe if they have a headache, if they have a stiff neck, or be sure the light is bothering them.

In young children, look for symptoms that indicate a serious infection. It doesn’t matter if it’s meningitis or not, if your child has a fever and is irritable or having trouble waking up, you should go to the doctor.

First aid

As mentioned throughout the article, if you think you have meningitis or experience symptoms, you should go to your doctor or emergency medical services. There is really nothing that can be done at home to treat meningitis. It is a serious illness that may require hospitalization to control.

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