SPINAL MENINGITIS Is an infection of the fluid and membranes around the: brain and the spinal chord.
WHAT CAN IT DO? Spinal meningitis can spread rapidly throughout the body Without treatment it can cause brain damage in a matter of hours and can be fatal within 24 hours. It can also: Cause kidney failure, Create learning disabilities, Cause hearing loss, blindness, Cause limb damage (fingers, toes, arms, legs) that can require amputation, Comas, And convulsions.
BACTERIAL OR VIRAL? Spinal meningitis can be caused by bacteria and viruses. Most times viruses develop into spinal meningitis, and several bacteria's can lead to it.
BACTERIAL OR VIRAL? Bacterial meningitis is usually severe. Some of the leading causes of bacterial meningitis in the U.S include: Haemophilus influenzae (most often caused by type b, Hib), Streptococcus pneumoniae, Listeria monocytogenes, Neisseria meningitidis.
BACTERIAL OR VIRAL Viral meningitis is usually less severe and goes away without specific treatment. Most viral meningitis cases in the United States, are caused by enteroviruses; however, only a small number of people with enterovirus infections actually develop meningitis. Viral infections that can lead to meningitis include: Mumps Herpes Viruses spread through mosquitoes and other insects And in rare cases LCMV (lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus) which is spread by rodents.
INCREASED CHANCE Factors that can lead to contracting spinal meningitis
VIRAL MENINGITIS It usually isn’t normal to catch meningitis from someone who developed it from another virus. It is however possible to get the virus that lead to meningitis, although it is very rare that that virus would develop into viral meningitis again. Viral meningitis occurs mostly in children younger than age 5. A weakened immune system can also contribute to viral meningitis.
BACTERIAL MENINGITIS Factors that can increase your risk of bacterial meningitis include but arte not limited to: Age Infants are at higher risk for bacterial meningitis than people in other age groups. However, people of any age are at risk. Chart that follows shows age and risk. Community setting Infectious diseases tend to spread more quickly where larger groups of people gather together. College students living in dormitories and military personnel are at increased risk Travel Travelers to the meningitis belt in sub-Saharan Africa may be at risk.
BACTERIAL MENINGITIS Age GroupCauses NewbornsGroup B Streptococcus, Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes Infants and Children Streptococcus pneumoniae, Neisseria meningitidis, Haemophilus influenzae type b Adolescents and Young Adults Neisseria meningitidis, Streptococcus pneumoniae Older AdultsStreptococcus pneumoniae, Neisseria meningitidis, Listeria monocytogenes
SYMPTOMS Symptoms usually don’t show up until 10-14 days after the infection takes place
SYMPTOMS IN ADULTS SYMPTOMS IN ADULTS DIFFER FROM THOSE IN CHILDREN Light sensitivity Drowsiness Fatigue Headache Fever Joint aches and pains Muscle spasms Pain that radiates from the spine Seizures Stiff neck and back Sweating Vomiting Weight loss
SYMPTOMS IN CHILDREN A blank starring expression A dislike of being touched or handled A high pitched/moaning cry Arching back Fever with cold hands and feet Fretfulness Lethargy or difficulty waking up Pale blotchy skin color Refusal to eat Vomiting Whimpering Wont sit down or stand because it hurts.
CAUSES Spinal meningitis is usually caused by a bacteria, and occasionally a virus.
DIAGNOSIS If meningitis is suspected, samples of blood or cerebrospinal fluid (near the spinal cord) are collected and sent to the laboratory for testing. It is important to know the specific cause of meningitis because that helps doctors understand how to treat the disease, and possibly how bad it will get. antibiotics can help prevent severe illness and reduce the spread of infection from person to person.
TREATMENT Bacterial meningitis can be treated effectively with antibiotics. It is important that treatment be started as soon as possible. They can reduce the risk of dying to below 15%, although the risk remains higher among young infants and the elderly. You can prevent spinal meningitis with the proper vaccine schedule. There are vaccines for three types of bacteria that can cause meningitis: Neisseria meningitidis (meningococcus), Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus), and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib).