What are Meninges?
Meningitis Symptoms and Causes are the three membranes covering the brain. These membranes are nothing but the Dura mater, Pia mater and the Arachnoid mater. The meninges store cerebrospinal fluid. The main function of meninges is to protect the central nervous system.
What is Meningitis?
Meningitis is the inflammation of these membranes due to viral, fungal or bacterial infections. The swelling of these membranes results in severe headaches. In other words, Meningitis can be fatal if not treated on time. For instance, Millions of people around the world are dying each year as a result of being diagnosed with meningitis every year.
What are the causes of Meningitis?
Meningitis is caused by several viruses, bacteria, fungi, and also by protozoa. Meningitis which is caused by viruses is influenced by the prior untreated or partially treated bacterial meningitis infections. In some cases, aseptic meningitis which means inflammation of meningitis without bacterial, fungal or viral infections is also observed. The bacteria which cause meningitis vary from one person to another. The types of bacterial meningitis infections are based on various age groups. The bacteria which can cause meningitis in a newborn may not be able to cause the same in an adult.
The risk of fungal meningitis increases with age. The most fungal pathogen which causes fungal meningitis is Cryptococcal meningitis. The other fungi which commonly cause meningitis are Coccidioides immitis, Histoplasma capsulatum, Blastomyces dermatitidis, and Candida species.
Similarly, Various parasites also cause meningitis. Non-infectious causes of meningitis include migraines, cancer, immunoglobulin injections, and inflammatory drugs.
Symptoms of Meningitis
In young children, the following symptoms are:
- Poor feeding
- Continuous vomiting along with cold extremities and
- Abnormal skin color
In adults, the symptoms of meningitis include:
- Neck stiffness
- High fever
- Photo-phobia (intolerance to bright light)
- Phonophobia (intolerance to loud noises)
The above mentioned are common symptoms of meningitis.
Importantly, bacteria and viruses are easy to transmit from one person to another. The transmission of bacteria is rapid not only amongst people who live close by but also spreads to people who come in close contact with the patient.
Doctors treat different types of meningitis through different medications. However, the medications take a longer time to cure meningitis.
Medications given for meningitis are:
- Antibiotics for bacterial meningitis
- Antiviral medications for viral meningitis.
- Antifungal drugs for fungal meningitis.