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Could it Be Bacterial Meningitis?

Written by Courteney

Posted on October 26, 2016 at 2:31 am


There are several different types of meningitis, but we wanted to zero in on the bacterial type in this post as it has been dangerously mistaken for colds, flus and even hangovers, resulting in several tragedies. Bacterial meningitis can have a mere few initial symptoms or present like other conditions so it is often overlooked until significant damage is done. It can become life-threatening in a matter of hours if drastic action isn’t taken, or cause life-long disabilities for survivors. It is important to know the common symptoms so you can catch meningitis before it ends in tragedy.

What is Meningitis?

Meningitis is inflammation of the meninges (the protective lining covering the brain and spinal cord). The bacterial variety is caused by infectious microbes like B. Streptococcus or Streptococcus pneumoniae.

How Many People are Affected?

Bacterial meningitis statistics differ from year to year, often affecting over 4000 Americans and causing somewhere in the vein of 500 deaths.

A Camouflaged Condition

Tragically, earlier this year a 21-year-old who mistook fast-moving bacterial meningitis for a hangover died in hospital within hours of the onset of her symptoms. This recent, unfortunate case has garnered much awareness for the seriousness of the condition. Young people should be especially aware of the symptoms of meningitis as it can spread quickly through dorms and be mistaken for other ailments.

Symptoms of Bacterial Meningitis

Symptoms differ from person to person, but common symptoms of bacterial meningitis to watch out for include:

  • Stiff neck (this one is important to note as it is perhaps the most distinguishing symptom of meningitis
  • General malaise
  • General pains (often legs)
  • Pale, splotchy skin
  • Confusion
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Confusion or fussiness
  • Low energy or fatigue
  • Fever
  • Rapid breathing or heartrate
  • Rash

Treatment for Meningitis

If you have any of the symptoms above and believe you could have been in contact with someone infected with meningitis, seek medical help immediately to be screened. When it comes to meningitis, it is better to be safe than sorry! Meningitis is a medical emergency and requires immediate care. Once at the hospital, treatment usually consists of an intravenous combination of corticosteroids and strong antibiotics. The steroids can help limit damage and inflammation of the brain.

Keep an eye out for some meningitis prevention tips in the future! Thanks for visiting DocChat!

 

 

 

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