on US orders over $100
on all US orders over $100
April 24 is World Meningitis Day, raising awareness of the dangers of meningitis in its many forms, especially to vulnerable people such as infants and those with a compromised immune system. Meningitis is an inflammation of the protective membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. The swelling is typically caused by a bacterial or viral infection of the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord.
Bacterial Meningitis is a serious and sometimes fatal disease. Death can actually occur in as little as a few hours, if not treated immediately. In fact, between 5 to 40 percent of children, and 20 to 50 percent of adults with this condition die from it. Most people do recover from meningitis, however; permanent disabilities, such as brain damage, hearing loss, and learning disabilities can result from the infection.
Certain people are at an increased risk for bacterial meningitis. Some of the risk factors include:
Generally, the germs that cause bacterial meningitis spread from one person to another:
Common symptoms in babies include:
Common symptoms in children and adults include:
It's imperative that anyone who thinks they have these symptoms must see a doctor as soon as possible, as immediate treatment with antibiotics is critical.
The most effective way to protect against certain types of bacterial meningitis is to get vaccinated.
Pregnant women should speak to their doctor about getting tested for Group B Streptococcus. Women receive the test between 35 to 37 weeks of pregnancy
Non-polio enteroviruses are the most common cause of viral meningitis within the United States, causing anywhere from 10 to 15 million infections and tens of thousands of hospitalizations each year. Some of these cases will develop viral meningitis.
Other viruses that can cause meningitis are:
You can develop viral meningitis at any age, but some do have a higher risk of getting the disease, including:
Initial symptoms of viral meningitis are similar to those for bacterial meningitis, although bacterial meningitis is usually more severe and can cause serious complications.As always, it is critical to see a healthcare provider as soon as possible if you think you or your child may have meningitis.
Unfortunately, there are no vaccines to protect against non-polio enteroviruses, which are the most common cause of viral meningitis. But you can protect yourself by following these steps: