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What is meningitis, and how is it treated?

Meningitis is a condition in which the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord become inflamed.

Meningitis is caused by either viruses or bacteria that gain entry into the bloodstream from other parts of the body.

Meningitis caused by bacteria, although rare, is the most life-threatening. It leads to swelling and inflammation that causes brain damage, loss of hearing, and even death.

The disease most commonly affects children below five years of age, and individuals between 16 and 25, and elderly people above 55 years old.

In teenagers and adults, the most common symptoms include:

  • vomiting,
  • high fever,
  • severe headache,
  • drowsiness,
  • stiff neck,
  • and joint pain.

In infants, symptoms such as:

  • fever,
  • vomiting,
  • refusing to feed,
  • crying with a high-pitched voice,
  • retracted neck, a blank expression,
  • and a pale complexion may be seen.

Currently, a vaccine is available for one of the strains of bacteria causing meningitis, and continuing research is being performed to develop vaccines against other strains.

Disclaimer: We do not assume responsibility for the use of the provided information or its interpretation. Our efforts are towards providing current and reliable information; however these should not be considered, or used as a substitute for diagnosis or treatment.

Source: https://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Education/Medical-Library/