Meningitis is a pathological process characterized by inflammation of the membranes of the spinal cord and brain. The causative agents of meningitis are bacteria, various viruses and fungi.
Ways of penetration of the pathogen into the brain shells may be different, but most often the entrance is the nasopharynx, in which the primary inflammatory focus is located. From it, the infection along with the bloodstream enters the meninges.
People of different ages are susceptible to meningitis, but most often children, due to insufficient development of the immune system. Meningitis is a disease dangerous by its consequences. Improper and untimely treatment of the disease can lead to complete blindness, partial or complete hearing loss, impaired speech apparatus, mental retardation in children, coma, and in severe cases, even death.
By origin distinguish primary and secondary meningitis. When the primary lining of the brain is affected immediately, and with the secondary against the background of the underlying disease, the infection first spreads and then the brain is affected.
In medicine, there are several common varieties of the disease: meningitis, pneumococcal meningitis, meningococcal meningitis, tuberculous meningitis, meningitis caused by hemophilus bacillus, viral meningitis.
Viral meningitis: prevention
The most common form of the disease is viral meningitis, which usually occurs on the background of an infection, most often enteroviral, but it can be caused by rubella, chicken pox, influenza, measles, and epidemic parotitis, and other diseases. The incidence of viral meningitis increases dramatically in the summer, which corresponds to the seasonality of enteroviral infections.
The incubation period of the disease is from 2 to 7 days. Viral meningitis begins acutely, accompanied by fever - an increase in body temperature up to 40 degrees, symptoms of general intoxication, debilitating headache, not relieved by the use of analgesics, lack of appetite, nausea and vomiting, drowsiness. In young children, the spring is pulsing and the spring is running out, a runny nose and a cough may appear. Symptoms of the disease disappear after a week, body temperature returns to normal, but relapses often occur. The total duration of the disease is 14-17 days, however, if the disease has a mild form, recovery begins earlier - on the 4th day.
Serous meningitis: prevention
Serous meningitis is characterized by serous inflammatory changes in the membranes of the brain, that is, inflammation with the release of fluid similar to blood serum. According to etiology, there are three types of serous meningitis: fungal, viral and bacterial (syphilitic, tuberculosis).
Serous meningitis is also a seasonal disease, with a peak in activity during the summer season. The disease is transmitted by airborne droplets and contact by communicating with a sick person or a virus carrier. Most often, they can become infected in crowded places, while bathing in polluted water bodies and rivers, through dirty hands, poorly washed vegetables and fruits.
The most susceptible to serous meningitis are children of preschool age (3-6 years) and adults with weakened immunity as a result of exhaustion of protective forces after a long struggle with a chronic disease.
Primary serous meningitis may occur as a reaction to enteroviruses, and secondary - as a complication after an infectious disease (polio, parotitis, measles, chickenpox, etc.). In the latter case, along with the characteristic signs of meningitis, the clinical picture of an infectious disease also develops.
The incubation period for serous meningitis lasts from 6 to 13 days. Possible prodromal period occurring between the incubation period and the disease itself. It is characterized by weakness, weakness, inflammation of the upper respiratory tract. With serous meningitis of viral nature, there is a sharp rise in body temperature to 38–40 degrees, headache and muscle pain, accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea, anxiety, pain in the abdomen area, delirium, convulsions. The symptoms disappear after about a week, however, the disease often recurs.
Serous meningitis of a bacterial nature develops gradually: the patient has a headache, gradually increasing, the pulse becomes less frequent, vomiting appears, the temperature of the body rises. The full clinical picture is outlined only after a week, and by the end of the second, the symptoms of meningitis itself appear: an increased tone of the neck muscles, and vision deteriorates.
In children, serous meningitis is much faster, on the second day there is a loss of consciousness, delirium, convulsions, hallucinations. In babies of the first year of life, the symptoms sufficient for hospitalization are increased muscle tone in the neck and temperature above 38 degrees, swelling and tension of a large fontan.
With the appearance of these manifestations of the disease should immediately consult a doctor. The diagnosis can be confirmed or eliminated only by a spinal puncture, a lumbar puncture, with a small sterile needle inserted into the spinal canal containing cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Studies of CSF for the presence of infection, protein and blood sugar help to identify exactly what meningitis develops in the human body and prescribe an effective therapy.
Treatment of meningitis should take place in a hospital. In viral meningitis, symptomatic treatment is prescribed, due to the condition of the patient. Antiviral drugs are widely used.
Inpatient treatment of serous meningitis lasts about 3-4 weeks. The treatment course includes antibacterial drugs, vitamins (B2, AT6, ascorbic acid, etc.), diuretic drugs used to reduce intracranial pressure and prevent swelling of the brain.
After treatment, young patients are at a dispensary with a neurologist. In the future, meningitis will be a long time to remind yourself of headaches, increased fatigue, problems with remembering.
Prevention of meningitis in adults
Meningitis can get sick at any time of the year and at any age, so it is important to pay great attention to the prevention of the disease. Prevention of meningitis in children and adults is primarily in compliance with the following rules:
- personal hygiene - thorough hand washing after visiting public places or after contact with animals;
- eating well washed and thermally treated foods and purified boiled water;
- strengthening the immune system and maintaining a healthy lifestyle;
- maintaining order in residential areas;
- swimming in strictly permitted places.
Prevention of meningitis in children is also a timely vaccination and competent treatment of diseases, because they can provoke the development of this disease.
See also: Symptoms of meningitis in children and treatment
The symptoms, course of the disease and prevention of meningitis in children and adults are similar. You can prevent the disease by observing the rules of personal hygiene and maintaining the health of the body with proper nutrition, moderate physical exertion and general strengthening procedures. If you notice signs of disease in yourself, your loved ones, immediately consult a doctor. A patient with meningitis needs timely hospital treatment.