What is Meningitis?
Meningitis Specialist Hyderabad | Dr Vikram Sharma | Meningitis Causes, Risks and Prevention
Meningitis specialist Hyderabad, Dr Vikram Sharma, a well-known neurologist specializes in the treatment of meningitis. He warns people against the severity of meningitis infection in the following paragraphs.
It is an infection of the brain and spinal cord. It particularly affects the delicate meninges of the brain – the membrane that covers the brain and spinal cord. Anyone can get infected by meningitis, especially children.
Meningitis is of different types: viral, bacterial and fungal
Bacterial meningitis is very severe, whereas viral meningitis is not that much severe as many individuals infected with it can recover very fast and the infection resolves on its own without requiring any medical intervention.
A fungus causes another type of meningitis, which is very rare though. This rare form of infection usually develops in very weak and immunocompromised persons (AIDS and HIV infected persons).
What Causes Meningitis?
In most cases, meningitis is caused by either bacterial or viral infections. The focal point of infection may not always be spinal cord or brain. Which means, the infection can emerge from other locations in the body, such as throat, sinuses or ears. From there, the infection spreads to the spinal cord or brain. bacterial and viral infections commonly cause meningitis. However, meningitis may also develop due to the following less common causes: autoimmune disorders, tuberculosis, syphilis, cancer medications and fungal infections.
The more serious & complicated type of meningitis is bacterial. Without proper diagnosis and prompt treatment, bacterial meningitis may become immensely severe and life-threatening. It can damage the brain. Therefore, a child having meningitis must be given instant medical help.
Bacteria that enter into the bloodstream from the throat, ears or sinuses cause bacterial meningitis. They are carried by the blood up to the brain. Infected persons can spread the infection to others. They spread the infection by coughing forcefully without covering their cough or sneeze.
Different types of bacteria can cause meningitis – but the common ones include meningococcus, pneumococcus, and Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib) bacteria – the causative agent of meningitis in infants and children.
Who is at risk of getting meningitis?
Infants, young children under age 5, young adults between 16 to 25 years and teenagers and the elderly persons are more likely to get infected with meningitis. In addition, individuals with chronic illness, long-term illness, immune system disorders, AIDs patients and other chronic health conditions are also at risk.
How to prevent meningitis?
Meningitis can spread between persons who live very closely and share their personal items. The germs can spread through coughing and sneezing, and therefore, it is better to avoid people who are suspected of having meningitis. It is also possible for the outbreaks to result in areas where the disease is prevalent and people live in close contact with each other – such places may include schools, colleges, public places and other such gatherings. In addition, those who travel to areas where meningitis is prevalent may get infected with the meningitis germs.