WHAT IS SPINAL MENINGITIS? Spinal Meningitis is an infection of the ﬂuid and membranes around the brain and spinal cord and can spread very rapidly.
~HISTORY~ Spinal Meningitis ﬁrst was identiﬁed in 1805 in Geneva, Switzerland, in an epidemic outbreak that killed 33 people! More outbreaks were recorded in Europe and the United Statesthrough the early 1800’s, and a well documented epidemic hit Cleveland in 1864.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU HAVE IT? If you have think you might have Spinal Meningitis you might experience things like; •Fever and chills •Severe headaches •Nausea and vomiting •Stiﬀness in your neck(which is meningismus) •Sensitivity to light (or photophobia) •Mental Status changes •Additional symptoms would some from swelling that results can harm or destroy nerve cells and cause bleeding in the brain, you would experience high fever, stiﬀness in your neck, headache, and nausea.
WHAT CAN THEY DO ABOUT IT? Treatment they can give you is limited. It includes emergencytreatment in a hospital, with intravenous or oral antibiotics with bed rest.Medication can be prescribed for bacterial but will vary depending on where you are being infected. Antibiotics are not eﬀective in viral. They will most likely be prescribed to prevent secondary infections and to reduce swelling to the spine.They can not cure it, it is like any normal virus it has to run its course;But without treatment it can cause brain damage in a matter of hours and can be fatal within 24 hours.
WHAT ARE EFFECTS IT CAN CAUSE? Long-term neurological side eﬀects aﬀect the nervous system and brain. In bacterial meningitis, these can include seizures, permanent brain damage, permanent nerve damage, blindness, hearing or speech loss, learning problems and paralysis. The longer treatment is delayed, the higher the risk of severe long term side eﬀects. Non-neurological long-term side eﬀects of bacterial meningitis can include loss of limbs, kidney failure, renal failure, and other failure and shock.
CAN I PREVENT IT? HOW?! Yes, you can prevent it, but to an extent.If you are in close contact with someone who got it, when they arediagnosed they will be asked who they were in close contact with and ifyour person was or is you will be prescribed antibiotics for a coupledays, just in case you were infected with the bacteria too. Themedication can help to prevent you from developing the Meningitis but itwill not prevent the the virus that causes Meningitis. If you have had allyour vaccinations, they will also help prevent you from gettingMeningitis. Other ways to prevent it without vaccines are: Washing yourhands regularly like you would to prevent many sickness’s, with warmsoapy water. In this case especially before eating, after using thebathroom, and whenever your hands are dirty or feel dirty. Other regularhealth precautions like when you cough or sneeze, do this into yourelbow, or a tissue, and of course watch your hands if you do.
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