General Inflammation of meninges (membranes surrounding the skull and spinal cord) Acute bacteria meningitis most commonly caused by bacteria entering bloodstream Bacteria can directly enter meninges from ear/sinus infection or skull fracture Acute bacteria meningitis infections extremely serious May result in death or brain damage even if treated Medical emergency
Types of Bacterial Meningitis Pneumococcal – most common type in US for infants children and adults. Caused by bacteria streptococcus pneumoniae which more commonly causes pneumonia, ear infections, or sinus infections Meningococcal - another leading cause of bacterial meningitis. Caused when upper respiratory infections enter bloodstream and is highly contagious. Effects mostly teenagers/young adults especially in dorms boarding schools military bases. Caused by bacteria neisseriameningitidis.
Types of Bacterial Meningitis Haemophilus Influenza type b (Hib) - leading cause of bacterial meningitis before 1990s in children. New vaccines make it less common. Caused by bacteria haemaphilusinfluenzae. Meningitis generally comes after upper respiratory infection, ear infection, or sinusitis. Listeriosis – caused by bacteria listeriamonocytogenes which are found almost everywhere. In soft cheese, hot dogs, and luncheon meats; many animals carry bacteria. Most healthy people don’t get infected from this. More susceptible to pregnant women, newborns, and older adults. People most vulnerable when have weakened immune system.
Symptoms Symptoms of meningitis similar to symptoms of flu Symptoms start over several hours or over 1/2 days Symptoms for people over the age of 2 include: High fever Severe headache (not easily confused with other type of headache) Stiff neck Vomiting/nausea with headache Confusion/ difficulty concentrating (if very young appear as inability to maintain eye contact) Seizures Sleepiness/difficulty waking up Sensitivity to light Lack of interest in drinking and eating Skin rash (in meningococcal)
Symptoms Symptoms in newborns High fever Constant crying Excessive sleepiness or irritability Inactivity or sluggishness Poor feeding Fontanel (bulge in soft spot on baby’s head) Stiffness in body or neck Seizures Difficult to comfort
Risk Factors Not completing childhood vaccines Median age of diagnosis 25 years Living in close quarters (meningococcal) Pregnancy (listeriosis) Working with animals (listeriosis) Compromised immune system (from Aids, spleen removal, diabetes, use of immunosuppressant drugs)
Treatment Intravenous antibiotics Cortisone like medications (more recent) Doctor may also treat for Brain swelling Shock Convulsions Dehydration Surgery (to drain fluid between the skull and meninges or infections)
Prevention Wash your hands Stay healthy Cover your mouth Take care with food if you are pregnant Immunizations