Saturday, October 14, 2017


Meningitis is a potentially fatal inflammation of the meninges, or membranes, covering the brain and spinal cord. The causative organisms, usually bacterial or viral, gain access to the cerebrospinal fluid and follow the space around vessels. The epidemic disease called cerebrospinal meningitis is caused by the meningococcus bacterium, Neisseria meningitidis, a spherical organism that inhabits the nasopharynx of healthy human carriers but that sometimes infects the blood and cerebrospinal fluid. The most common cause of bacterial meningitis, however, is haemophilus influenzae type B. Meningitis may result from head injuries and infections involving the eyes, ears, or nose; it can also be a complication of systemic disorders such as pneumonia and syphilis.

Transmission is by direct contact between people. The initial symptoms of meningitis are extreme headache, rapidly rising fever, stiffness of the neck, and extreme irritability and drowsiness. Further progression depends on the causative agents and the health of the host. The patient may experience deafness, muscle weakness in the face, and other sign of nerve paralysis.

Convulsions, mental retardation, and behavioral disturbances may also occur, and may remain in some cases. Many patients recover fully. Diagnosis is often made by lumbar puncture (spinal tap), whereby direct access is gained to the site of infection. Special stains and culture of the extracted fluid will often identify the specific organism so that proper therapy vaccine against. Haemophilus influenzae type B was licenced for use in 1985.

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