May 19, 2018 Source: Internal - Gleb Danylov
There are protective layers that surround the brain and spinal cord called the meninges. The meningeal layers allow for cerebral spinal fluid to be circulated through your spine and into the ventricles located in your brain. This is extremely important since this is how your brain receives most of its blood supply.
What is Meningitis?
An inflammation of the meninges is known as meningitis. There are three types of meningitis including bacterial, viral, and fungal. Viral meningitis is the most common, followed by bacterial and, rarely, fungal. However, bacterial meningitis poses the highest risk and can be fatal.
Types of Meningitis
Bacterial meningitis is usually spread through bacteria that were previously infecting the ears, nose, or throat and spread their infection to areas of the brain. It is also possible that the bacteria can directly invade the meninges, however this is rare. Therefore, meningitis usually presents itself as a secondary symptom to upper respiratory diseases such as pneumonia, and meningococcal meningitis. These diseases are highly contagious and are usually most prevalent among infants and young children, but can also infect adults.
On the other hand, viral meningitis often expresses mild symptoms and usually clears on its own out of the body. Most cases are reported to be caused by enteroviruses which are most active during late summer and early fall. Typically viruses which disrupt the immune system such as HIV and west Nile fever, can develop into viral meningitis.
The last form is fungal meningitis which is relatively uncommon. Fungal meningitis is not contagious from person to person, and most often infects people that have a compromised immune system. This form of meningitis typically presents itself as chronic meningitis as it takes several weeks to invade the meningeal layers.
A doctor should be contacted immediately if you are experiencing any of these symptoms of meningitis including fever, confusion, stiff neck, and sever headaches.
The most effective way to protect yourself from meningitis is to get vaccinated. There are many safe and effective vaccines on the market and have greatly reduced the number of cases around the world. It is important to vaccinate your child as they have weakened immune systems and are most susceptible to meningitis.