ABSTRACT – Meningitis is an inflammation of meninges membranes around the brain and spinal cord. It occurs due to...
Bacterial meningitis is the most serious type of meningitis. It can lead to death or permanent disability. It is a medical emergency.
Meningitis affects the meninges, the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord and protect the central nervous system (CNS), together with the cerebrospinal fluid.
Meningococcal meningitis is caused by the meningococcus bacteria.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the symptoms of meningitis can appear either suddenly or over a few days. They normally emerge in 3 to 7 days after infection.
Early symptoms of meningitis include:
nausea and vomiting
headache and a stiff neck
sensitivity to light
cold hands or feet and mottled skin
in some cases, a rash that does not fade under pressure
Later symptoms include seizures and coma.
refuse feeds and be irritable
cry excessively, or give a high-pitched moan
be stiff, with jerky movements, or listless and floppy
The fontanelle may be bulging.
Meningitis rash glass test
A meningitis rash occurs if blood leaks into the tissue under the skin.
It may start as a few small spots in any part of the body, then spread rapidly and look like fresh bruises.
The glass test can assist in identifying a meningeal rash.
Press the side of a drinking glass firmly against the rash.
If the rash fades and loses color under pressure, it is not a meningitis rash.
If it does not change color, you should contact a doctor immediately.
The rash or spots may fade and then come back.
Meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges that cover the brain.
Bacterial meningitis can be caused by a range of bacteria, including:
Haemophilus influenzae (H. influenzae) type B (Hib)
Neisseria meningitides (N. meningitides)
Streptococcus pneumoniae (S. pneumonia)
Listeria monocytogenes (L. monocytogenes
Group B Streptococcus
At different ages, people are more likely to be affected by different strains.
The bacteria that cause meningitis usually pass from one person to another, for example, through droplets in coughs and sneezes or through saliva or spit. Some types can spread through food.
Group B streptococcus can pass from mothers to newborns during delivery.
Some people are carriers. They have the bacteria, but they do not develop symptoms. Living in a house with either a carrier or someone who has meningitis increases the risk.
It is important to follow the recommended vaccination schedule to prevent meningitis. H. influenza is the main cause of bacterial meningitis in children under 5 in countries that do not offer the Hib vaccine
The incidence of meningitis in the U.S. has dropped considerably since its vaccine was introduction.
Treatment for bacterial meningitis normally involves admission to the hospital, and possibly an intensive care unit.
Antibiotics are essential, and these may be started before the results of tests come back, possibly before arrival at the hospital.
Antibiotics: These are usually given intravenously.
Corticosteroids: These may be given if inflammation is causing pressure in the brain, but studies show conflicting results.
Acetaminophen, or paracetamol: Together with cool sponge baths, cooling pads, fluids, and room ventilation, these reduce fever.
Anticonvulsants: If the patient has seizures, an anticonvulsant, such as phenobarbital or Dilantin, may be used.
Oxygen therapy: Oxygen will be administered to assist with breathing.
Fluids: Intravenous fluids can prevent dehydration, especially if the patient is vomiting or cannot drink.
Sedatives: These will calm the patient if they are irritable or restless.
Blood tests may be used to monitor the patient’s levels of blood sugar, sodium, and other vital chemicals.