What is it?
Meningitis is inflammation of the thin tissue that surrounds the brain and spinal cord, called the meninges. There are several types of meningitis. The most common is viral meningitis. You get it when a virus enters the body through the nose or mouth and travels to the brain. Bacterial meningitis is rare, but can be deadly. It usually starts with bacteria that cause a cold-like infection. It can cause stroke, hearing loss, and brain damage. It can also harm other organs. Pneumococcal infections and meningococcal infections are the most common causes of bacterial meningitis. Anybody can get meningitis but is more common in people with weak immune system. It is most common in babies, young children, teenagers and young adults. Meningitis can be very serious if not treated quickly. It can cause life-threatening blood poisoning (septicaemia) and result in permanent damage to the brain or nerves.
What are the symptoms?
In infants: * Decreased appetite * Irritability * Sleepiness * Lethargy * Fever * Increased heart rate In adults: * Headaches * Fever * Stiff neck * Seizures * Sensitivity to bright light * Sleepiness * Lethargy * Nausea and vomiting * Decreased appetite
- Take adequate rest
- Avoid contact with affected person
- Do not smoke
- To avoid viral meningitis, tell your child not to share food and drinks with others. That includes straws and eating utensils.
- Tell them to avoid touching certain things that will transmit the disease, such as the contents of baby diapers, dirty tissues, and towels from other people.
Things to watch out for
Immediately call 000 or emergency for further testing and treatment that usually involves giving antibiotics