March 3, 2021
Meningitis is a serious infection of the meninges, the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. It is a devastating disease and remains a major public health challenge. The disease can be caused by many different pathogens including bacteria, fungi or viruses, but the highest global burden is seen with bacterial meningitis.
Several different bacteria can cause meningitis. Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Neisseria meningitidis are the most frequent ones. N. meningitidis, causing meningococcal meningitis, is the one with the potential to produce large epidemics. There are 12 serogroups of N. meningitidis that have been identified, 6 of which (A, B, C, W, X and Y) can cause epidemics.
Meningococcal meningitis can affect anyone of any age, but mainly affects babies, preschool children and young people. The disease can occur in a range of situations from sporadic cases, small clusters to large epidemics throughout the world, with seasonal variations. Geographic distribution and epidemic potential differ according to serogroup. The largest burden of meningococcal meningitis occurs in the meningitis belt, an area of sub-Saharan Africa, which stretches from Senegal in the west to Ethiopia in the east.
N. meningitidis can cause a variety of diseases. Invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) refers to the range of invasive diseases caused by N. meningitidis, including septicemia, arthritis and meningitis. Similarly, S. pneumoniae causes other invasive diseases including otitis and pneumonia.
The treatments of meningitis is determined by their cause and the age of Patient.
Bacterial meningitis requires immediate hospitalization. Early diagnosis and treatment will prevent brain damage and death. Bacterial meningitis is treated with intravenous antibiotics. There’s no specific antibiotic for bacterial meningitis. It depends on the bacteria involved.
Fungal meningitis is treated with antifungal agents.
Parasitic meningitis may either involve treating just the symptoms or attempting to treat the infection directly. Depending on the cause, this type may get better without antibiotic treatment. If it worsens, however, your doctor may try to treat the infection itself.
Viral meningitis may resolve on its own, but some causes of viral meningitis will be treated with intravenous antiviral medications.
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