What is meningitis and what he is dangerous?
Meningitis - is an acute infectious disease which causes inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord. The infection can trigger fungi, viruses and various bacteria, such as Haemophilus influenzae, enteroviruses, meningococcal infection, the TB bacillus. Symptoms of meningitis may occur at any age, but tend to get sick people with weakened immune systems, premature babies, patients with head injuries, back and CNS lesions.
With adequate and, most importantly, time begun treatment of meningitis, vital organs and systems of the person usually does not suffer. An exception is the so-called reactive meningitis, the consequences of which are extremely serious. If meningitis treatment is not started in the first days after the onset of symptoms persist, the patient can go blind or deaf. Often, the disease leads to coma and even death. As a rule, transferred meningitis in children and adults shapes immune to the effects of pathogens, but there are exceptions. However, the case of relapse are extremely rare. According to experts, there is a secondary infection of only 0, 1% of people recover.
What could be meningitis?
The disease can be primary and secondary. The first type of infection is diagnosed in case if the infection directly affects the meninges. Secondary meningitis in adults and children is shown on the background of the underlying disease (leptospirosis, otitis, mumps, etc.), Develops slowly, but eventually also leads to the defeat of the meninges.
The hallmark of both types of infection is acute clinical course of the disease. The disease develops over several days and requires immediate treatment to prevent serious complications. The exception to this rule is tuberculous meningitis, which may not manifest themselves for several weeks and even months.
Causes of meningitis
The main causative agent - a meningococcal infection. In most cases, it is transmitted by airborne droplets. The source of infection is a sick man, and pick up the infection can be wherever you want, starting with public transport to the clinic. The children's groups pathogen capable of causing an epidemic of the disease. Note also that in contact with meningococcal disease in the human body normally develops purulent meningitis. For more details about it will be discussed in a later section.
The second most common cause of the disease are different viruses. Most often, the defeat of the meninges results enterovirus infection, however, the disease can develop in the presence of the herpes virus, measles, mumps or rubella.
Among the other factors causing meningitis in children and adults include:
- boils on the neck or face;
- acute and chronic otitis media;
- lung abscess;
- osteomyelitis of the cranial bones.
Reactive meningitis - one of the most dangerous forms of the infection. It is often referred to as lightning because of the extremely short-lived clinical picture. If medical assistance was too late, the patient goes into a coma and died from multiple purulent foci in the brain. If the doctors began to treat jet meningitis during the first day, the consequences will not be as severe, but they can be life-threatening. Of great importance in reactive meningitis is timely diagnosis, which is carried out by taking a lumbar puncture.
Purulent meningitis in adults and children
Purulent meningitis is characterized by the development of brain, obscheinfektsionnogo and meningeal syndrome and CNS lesions and inflammation in the cerebrospinal fluid. In 90% of reported cases of disease is caused by infection. If the child develops purulent meningitis, the symptoms initially resemble the common cold or the flu, but after a few hours the patient has the characteristic features of meningeal infection:
- very bad headache;
- repeated vomiting;
- muscle tension neck
- Pain when trying to pull his head to his chest.
In addition to the above symptoms of meningitis occur in children and some other symptoms: drowsiness, convulsions, diarrhea, pulsation large fontanelle.
Treatment of meningitis
Patients with meningitis are subject to immediate hospitalization. Do not try to treat meningitis, folk remedies and do not delay calling an ambulance because the jokes infection can easily result in disability or death.
The drugs of choice in the treatment of meningitis are antibiotics. Note here that about 20% of cases to identify the cause of the disease and can not, therefore, used in hospitals broad spectrum antibiotics in order to affect all likely pathogens. The course of antibiotic treatment lasts at least 10 days. This period is increased by the presence of purulent lesions in the scalp.
Currently, meningitis in adults and children treated with penicillin, ceftriaxone, and cefotaxime. If they do not give the desired effect, the patient is prescribed vancomycin, and carbapenems. They have serious side effects and are only used in cases where there is a real risk of developing life-threatening complications.
If there is a heavy flow of meningitis patient endolyumbalnoe prescribed antibiotics, in which drugs go directly into the spinal canal.