Bacterial meningitis is caused by a microorganism like Streptococcus pnuemoniae; viral meningitis is usually caused by pathogens like enteroviruses.
If meningitis symptoms are evident in a person, then a diagnosis must be performed right away to determine the type of bacterial infection the patient has. In a hospital facility, a physician should make a rapid assessment by taking a little sample of the CSF or cerebrospinal fluid for the diagnosis of the disease. This method is termed as a spinal tap or lumbar puncture. It is done by introducing a needle between the fourth and fifth lumbar space. Cerebrospinal fluid is collected by extracting some drops from it. This course of action can be occasionally painful so local anesthetic is used to prevent the patient from feeling severe pain.
Laboratory tests of the cerebrospinal fluid will detect the presence of bacterial meningitis or viral meningitis. This procedure will be able to determine the type of pathogen that invaded the meninges of the patient. The headache symptoms of a patient may be relieved by a lumbar puncture for mild cases of spinal meningitis. There would be a decrease in the intracranial pressure due to the extraction of CSF.
The diagnosis of bacterial meningitis and viral meningitis can’t be confirmed through brain imaging tests like X-rays. Nevertheless, these types of tests can be utilized to assure that damage has not occurred from the accumulation of fluid and the increased pressure within the brain cavity.
What are the Preventive Measures of Meningitis Symptoms?
Aside from meningitis vaccine, there is no other way to save ourselves from having a meningitis infection. The right management will result in limited harmful effects of the disease in a patient. This can be possible by identifying the Meningitis Symptoms and seeking prompt medical interventions from hospital facilities.
Several types of bacterial meningitis may be averted by means of immunizing the vulnerable populations. The Hib vaccine or Hemophilus influenza type B is a form of meningitis vaccine to reduce the prevalence of this disease. This vaccine is administered to infants at two to four months. Meningococcal meningitis has a recent vaccine that can only protect a person from the B strain of its causative agents. The effect of this vaccine can only be viable for three to five years after its administration. Preventive measures are considered for persons who have had close contact with a patient contaminated with bacterial meningitis.
There is no available vaccine for viral meningitis. Nevertheless, the required infant immunizations for the prevention of viral infections ,such as polio and mumps, have possibly eradicated infection from certain viral meningitis infections. The majority of viral meningitis cases originate from enteroviruses. A person can protect himself from these viruses by washing hands frequently especially before preparing food.
What are the Complications of Meningitis?
Bacterial meningitis can cause more fatal effects on the brain and the body than viral meningitis. It is proven that patients with meningococcal conditions will have serious complications. The severity of this disease may differ from one person to another, and it can be permanent or temporary. The severity of infection will determine the extent of damage that the disease has resulted in. Probable complications involve hearing loss (total or partial), trouble with concentration and memory, permanent or temporary learning difficulties, problems with balance and coordination, epilepsy, cerebral palsy (See: viral meningitis is managed by infusing intravenous fluids to assist the body as it recovers from the damage which occurred subsequent to the infection. Anti-viral medications are also given to these patients. For mild meningitis, it does not necessitate hospitalization, and it is usually treated at home.
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