A headache, fever, and stiffness of neck are conditions that you undergo in daily life. These all can be caused due to external such as having a stressful job. So you are least bothered if they come to you often. But in some cases, they become quite frequent and if you do not know the cause.
What should you do?
When such conditions occur in you very frequently, it could be an indication that there is something wrong in your brain.
These should be taken into proper consideration as they could probably be the symptoms of Meningitis (infection of brain coverings)
You might not be much aware of it, right?
Here’s what you need to know.
What Is Meningitis?
It is the infection/inflammation of meninges, which are three membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. Basically, they protect and nourish the brain.
Meningitis develops when the fluid ( CSF-cerebrospinal fluid) surrounding meninges is infected.
What Are Its Types and Causes?
Most meningitis is caused by viral or bacterial infection and also fungus and parasites. There are many types of meningitis, they include
- Viral meningitis: it is the most common type of meningitis which is caused by viruses in the category of Enterovirus and Herpes.
- Bacterial meningitis: it is contagious and fatal if not treated. infection occurs through blood and contiguous spread. Staphylococcus meningitis: it is caused by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria which is found on the skin and respiratory tract. Meningococcal meningitis: it is caused by Neisseria meningitidis bacteria which spreads through saliva and respiratory fluids. Pneumococcal meningitis: it is caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae which are found in the respiratory tract, sinuses, and nasal cavity. Neonatal (less than 1yr age) meningitis it is found among infants which are caused by E.coli bacteria.
- Fungal meningitis: it is a very rare type which is caused due to the infection of funguses like Cryptococcus, Blastomyces, Histoplasma, and coccidioides.
- Parasitic meningitis: it is a less common type which is non-contagious and is caused by parasites that are found in dirt, feces, and food.
- Non-infectious meningitis: it is caused by medical conditions or treatments like lupus, head injury, brain surgery and cancer.
What Are The Symptoms?
You might have very similar symptoms in viral and bacterial infection, but the bacterial infection symptoms are more severe.
You might feel very tired initially and later it develops into a headache with photophobia (sensitivity to light), phonophobia (sensitivity to sounds) and fever. You might also have nausea and vomiting or visual symptoms. Your body would feel very lethargic, loss of appetite. You may develop dullness, drowsiness and seizures.
Is Meningitis Contagious?
Most of them are not contagious
Fungal and parasitic meningitis is not contagious. Whereas viral and bacterial meningitis may be contagious. It is spread when you come in contact with the body fluids of an infected person through coughing or sneezing. Also if you have an extended contact with the infected person at any location then you are vulnerable to get the infection.
Not all the infection spreads when you come in a person-to-person contact.
What Can Meningitis Lead To?
It can lead to complications like seizures, arthritis, hearing loss, vision loss, memory problems, hydrocephalus, and brain damage.
How is it diagnosed; diagnosis is based on clinical history and neurological and fundus examination done by neurologist and imaging (CT/MRI brain with contrast study) followed by CSF test.
How Is Meningitis Treated?
The treatment is based on the cause of meningitis in you. In case of bacterial meningitis, the infected person has to be hospitalized immediately. This would prevent brain damage and death. It is treated with intravenous antibiotics that are specified for different bacteria.
Viral meningitis are treated with intravenous antiviral medications.
Parasitic meningitis is either the infection treated directly or the symptoms that lead to it are treated.
Fungal meningitis is treated by antifungal agents.
Meningitis is a very complex illness that can turn into a life-threatening condition if not treated at an early stage. If you are diagnosed with any of the similar symptoms then you should meet the doctor. The specialists at Sunshine hospital are here to make your life out of risk.
ABOUT OUR NEUROLOGIST:
Dr. Anitha Kotha
After completing her MBBS in 1999 and getting a gold medal from SVS Medical College in Mahboobnagar, Dr. Anitha Kotha went on to become the Diplomate in National Board (DNB) General Medicine at the prestigious Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences(NIMS) for 3 years. After that, she did 3 years course of DM Neurology in NIMS and then worked as a Consultant Neurologist in Yashoda hospital -Somajiguda for 3 years. Dr. Anitha is one of the most experienced Neurologist and is a life member of the prestigious Indian Academy of Neurology and also the Medical Association of India.
ABOUT THE HOSPITAL:
A Multi Super Speciality Institution, 500 bedded Sunshine Hospitals (Paradise Circle, Secunderabad) is promoted by globally reputed Joint Replacement Surgeon Dr. AV Gurava Reddy (Orthopedic Doctor) and like-minded associates who share the objective of making world-standard healthcare available, affordable and accessible to the common man.