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Meningitis

Last updated on Saturday, March 30, 2013

Overview

Meningitis is the inflammation of the lining around the spinal cord and the brain, and it is a deadly condition, so it requires immediate medical attention. Meningitis may exist in one of many different forms, but the most common are the viral and bacterial forms.

Causes

Viral meningitis is most commonly caused by enteroviruses. Transmission methods include fecal contamination of hands (e.g. changing diapers), nasal mucus, and saliva. The condition is unpleasant, but it is rarely life threatening, and one may recover quickly (after about 7 to 10 days).

Bacterial meningitis is contagious but not as contagious as the flu or the cold. Transmission methods include kissing, coughing, and general respiratory exchanges. College students and others who live in shared living spaces are at higher risk for infection, which is usually caused by the Neisseria meningitidis bacteria and the disease from this is dubbed meningococcal disease.

Symptoms

Symptoms of meningitis include fever, headache, neck stiffness, confusion, seizures, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, rashes, and sensitivity to bright light. Home treatment is not available for meningitis; anytime this disease is suspected, medical attention is urgently necessary. It is a good idea to be vaccinated against meningococcal infection. Contact your local clinic, hospital, or health care provider for more information on immunizations.

Tags: emergencyfevermeningitis

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