What Is Meningitis

Meningitis is not a single specific disease. It is an in8amrnation (swelling and soreness) of the meninges. The meninges are the membranes (layers of tissue) that cover the brain and spinal cord.

What Is Meningitis

Although many different germs can cause the infection, it is most often caused by the bacteria meningococci. Meningitis may follow head injuries and infections, or it may be a complication that comes with such diseases as tuberculosis, whooping cough, pneumonia, influenza, and scarlet fever.

In most cases, the bacteria enter the body through the throat. Some people may carry the bacteria in their throats without becoming sick. These people, called “carriers”, help to spread the infection. Infants and children are more likely to infected. Every five or ten years there may an epidemic with many cases of illness.

The germs first grow in the blood, causing fever and chills and usu- ally a red rash on the skin. Soon the germs settle in the meninges and cause the inflammation. When this happens then is pressure in the head which the patient feels as a severe headache. Next the neck becomes stiff. The patient holds his neck as still as possible ; any attempt to bend it forward results in great pain.

The patient often becomes confused or even unconscious and vom- its. He may have convulsions, twitching, and jerkings of the body which he cannot control. In fighting this condition, doctors usually use “sulpha” drugs and antibiotics. They have cut the death rate of the disease to about 10 percent. Without treatment, about three-quarters of the patients would die.

What Are The 3 Types Of Meningitis?

1. Viral meningitis.

2. Bacterial meningitis.

3. Fungal meningitis.

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