Meningitis-Viral, Bacterial, Symptoms, Rash,Vaccine


Meningitis is an inflammation on the brain and spinal cord lining, and can be quite a serious illness. Meningitis is linked with septicaemia (blood poisoning) a dangerous illness. The disease can develop quite quickly. A child or adult may seem quite fine at one, and in hours, he or she can become quite ill. Though most people do recover, some become blind or deaf and in some cases, there can be mortality.

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Meningitis Symptoms

The symptoms of Meningitis can be confused for other illnesses which is why a proper diagnosis is important.

• In babies and children, there can be fever, lack of appetite, high pitched crying, irritability and vomiting. The tender area on the top of the baby’s head begins to swell, there is rapid breathing, the skin become pale and the body tends to have jerky, floppy movements. Meningitis rash develops when there is blood poisoning in the form of septicaemia.

• Adults with septicaemia get cold feet and cold hands, the muscles tend to ache and there can be stomach pain with diarrhea.

Early warning signs of Meningitis

The early warning signs and symptoms of Meningitis is cold hands and feet, with changing skin color in the form of pale, bluish or mottle-type tinge. Thee can be leg pains also. After this, there is a phase of Meningitis rash and aversion to bright light. In fact, do not even wait for Meningitis rash to appear, if there are warning signs, just seek medical advice quickly.

Meningitis causes

There can be various causes of Mengingitis, mostly due to bacteria and viruses. Viral meningitis is the most common form but not so severe as the bacterial form. But even Viral Meningitis can also become severe if not treated, and can cause headache, drowsiness, fever and even coma.

Bacterial Meningitis is quite severe and serious, albeit not so common as Viral Meningitis. The bacteria that causes Meningitis is actually quite common but does not cause common. The bacteria is found mostly in the nose and throat, and is spread through close contact, kissing, sneezing and coughing. Trouble happens when in a small number of peope, the body’s immune system is beaten by these germs which take control and cause Meningitis or Septicaemia. So a weak immune system, drug allergies, chemical irriation, fungi and tumors can cause Meningitis.

The cause of Viral Meningitis is various types of viruses. For instance, viral mengintis can be due to herpes virus, the very virus that can cause genital herpes and cold sores. However, it does not mean that people who have cold sore, genital herpes etc can also contract viral meningitis. West Nile Virus, caused due to mosquito bites, is also a recent major cause of Viral Meningitis

Meningitis Types

Types of Meningitis include:

Aseptic meningitis

Cryptococcal meningitis

Gram negative meningitis

H. influenza meningitis

Meningitis due to cancer (carcinomatous meningitis)

Meningococcal meningitis

Pneumococcal meningitis

Staphylococcal meningitis

Syphilitic aseptic meningitis

Tuberculous meningitis

However, only in a small number of people do the germs overwhelm the body’s immune system to cause meningitis or septicaemia.

Tests and diagnosis of Meningitis

Some of the medical tests done for Meningitis may show

1. Rapid Heart Beats

2. Stiff Neck

3. Changes in the mental health

4. Fever

Spinal tap or lumbar puncture, a test that collects cerebrospinal fluid is ideal for diagnosis of Meningitis. The tests that are done to find out Meningitis include:

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1. Complete Blood Count test

2. Chest X-Ray

3. CT scan of the head

4. CSF for protein, glucose and cell count

5. Gram Statin

Meningitis Rash

Meningitis rash looks like little red pinpricks. The rash then turns into purplish red marks.  Press a gas tumbler near the rash and if it does not fade, it means it is meningococcal septicaemia

Treatment for Meningitis

Antibotics are prescribed for Bacterial Meningitis. These antibiotics are not effective for treating Viral Meningitis which warrants a different form of treatment. Intrvenous fluids and medications are given to treat brain swelling, shock and seizures. Viral Meningitis symptoms can disappear within two weeks of treatment, provided proper diagnosis and treatment is done.

Prevention : Meningitis Vaccinations

Vaccinations are credited with preventing Meningitis and its various types. The childhood immunization schedule has three major vaccines that can prevent child from contracting Meningitis.

1. Meningitis C Vaccine called NeisVac-C or Menjugate can rev up the immune system to produce antibodies that can resist group C meningococcal disease (meningitis and septicaemia). The first Meningitis C vaccines are given to babies when they are three or four months old. The third dose is given in combination with the Hib vaccine when the baby is between 12 and 13 months. In case, you have not been vaccinated against Meningitis C, you should take it, specially if you are below 25 years of age.

2. Hib vaccine. This protects the person from Hib Meningitis (Septicaemia). The Hib vaccine is a part of Pediacel, a combination vaccine that can also protect the person against diphtheria, polio, tetanus and whopping cough. It is given in 3 doses, at two, three and four months and a fourth dose is given when the baby is between twelve and thirteen months along with Meningitis C

3. Ppneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV): prevents the body from infection due to Streptococcus pneumonia and can protect the person from Septicaemia or pneumococcal meningitis

Meningitis C, Hib and pneumococcal vaccines are also recommended for spleen removal in cases like car accident or when their spleen does not function properly due to sickle cell disease, for instance.

Meningitis Rash Pictures

Check out through this Meningitis rash pictures how they look (purplish pointy formations)


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