Most Common Cause of Meningitis – Meningitis Symptoms

most common cause of meningitis

Definition of a Brain

Before we get into meningitis and the most common cause of meningitis we must understand our brain a little. We all have a soft nervous tissue organ in our heads.  It is one of the most complex and one of largest organs we humans have in our bodies. Our brains are made up of many almost more than one hundred billion nerves that is busy communicating in more than trillions of connections also known as synapses.

Brain being one of the most important organs in our body is also one of the most protected one unfortunately some deadly parasites have figured out how to a well protected brain.

What is Meningitis?

Meningitis is a severe and serious infectious disease mostly caused by viral or bacterial infection. Meningitis occurs when there is an inflammation of the thin lining around the brain and spinal cord called meninges. If a person suffering from meningitis is not taken cared of immediately, meningitis can be life threatening. There are rare causes of meningitis and most common cause of meningitis.

Define Meningoencephalitis

Meningoencephalitis is a term use to define an inflammation or infection of the membranes of our brain or adjoining cerebral tissue. Many organisms can cause this such as protozoan’s, bacterial and viral.

How Common is Bacterial Meningitis

Bacterial meningitis is one of the most common and most dangerous types of meningitis out there. The following bacteria are responsible for almost all bacterial meningitis cases around the world:

Hemophilus Influenza

It is a gram-negative bacterium from the Pasteurellaceae family and can cause various dangerous diseases and invasive infections. One invaded by Hemophilus influenza might require immediate medical help and / or hospitalization. It can cause severe infection of the spinal cord and brain also known as meningitis.

Streptococcus Pneumoniae

It is gram-positive bacteria usually found living in pairs; it belongs to the genus Streptococcus family. Streptococcus pneumonia is the master of invasions. Streptococcus pneumonia is responsible of most deaths around the world than any other bacterial infection as it is the most common cause of bloodstream infections.

Neisseria Meningitides

Neisseria meningitides is a gram-negative bacterium also known as meningococcal, it can cause meningitis and many other forms contagious infections such as a life-threatening sepsis called meningococcemia.

Are There Different Types of Meningitis?

There are many ways a person can get meningitis

  • Bacterial Meningitis

Bacterial meningitis is very deadly and life-threatening and can spread by close contact with the infected. It is meningitis caused by bacteria. It is often deadly and requires immediate medical help

  • Viral Meningitis

Viral meningitis is caused by viruses and is mostly mild but relatively common; a viral meningitis can rarely be dangerous enough to kill the infected. It is less serious than bacterial meningitis and most of the times cure on its own. Viral meningitis is one of the most common cause of meningitis around the world.

  • Parasitic Meningitis

Parasitic Meningitis is caused by Naegleria fowleri. It is the primary cause of rare parasitic meningitis.

  • Fungal Meningitis

Fungal meningitis mostly infected people with weak immune system (Such as people suffering from the HIV) can be a victim of the fungal meningitis as it is caused by a fungus that spreads through the blood stream to the spinal cord.

  • Non-Infectious Meningitis

Non-Infectious Meningitis can be caused by the inflammation of the membrane covering the brain and spinal cord (meninges). Some drugs can cause non-infectious meningitis to happen.

Most Common Cause of Bacterial Meningitis in Adults

In adults and children’s Streptococcus pneumonia causes sinus of ear infections and is the most common cause of bacterial meningitis around the world. There are vaccines available to prevent this deadly infection.

Signs of Bacterial Meningitis in Babies

There are many signs of bacterial meningitis in babies, the most common ones are

  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Pale skin
  • Unusual Crying
  • Rapid breathing
  • Cold body (hands or feet)

Meningitis Symptoms in Adults

The symptoms will usually appear 5 to 8 days after one is infected.  The first most common symptoms of meningitis are:

  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting

Other symptoms that follow are:

  • Headache
  • Pale skin
  • Severe body or limb pain
  • Stiff neck
  • Cold feet and hands
  • Bright lights will annoy the infected
  • Often confused

Meningococcal Meningitis Rash

Meningococcal meningitis rash happens when the bacteria in the blood stream reproduces it releases a poison called septicemia. It damages the blood vessels as the bacterial infection progresses causing a faint skin rash probably  red, pink in some cases purple.

Meningitis Treatment

Meningitis is mostly treated with a combination of antibiotics most from the class cephalosporins. Some bacterial meningitis are very dangerous as they become antibiotic resistant. But fortunately there are still many antibiotics that works well against meningitis infection such as Vancomycin, rifampin and ceftriaxone.

Note: Before taking any medication please consult your treating physician. The right medication can only be prescribed by your doctor after a physical check-up.

7 thoughts on “Most Common Cause of Meningitis – Meningitis Symptoms”

  1. Bacteria that enter the bloodstream and travel to the brain and spinal cord cause acute bacterial meningitis. But it can also occur when bacteria directly invade the meninges. This may be caused by an ear or sinus infection, a skull fracture, or, rarely, after some surgeries.

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