Meningitis in children and adults
Meningitis is an inflammatory disease that occurs in the membranes of the brain and spinal cord. Develops either as an independent disease or as complications of other diseases.
Meningitis has several different ways of classification. It is divided according to the etiology: bacterial, viral, fungal. In addition, there is a purulent or serous meningitis. The disease may be acute, subacute, chronic and lightning. The origin of meningitis can be primary or secondary, when the disease develops on the background of other similar pathology.
The disease plays a huge role, so this classification is very important.
- Fulminant course. The symptoms almost immediately develop, which can lead to death. However, if the time to deliver patients to the clinic, all may end well.
- Sharp. The symptoms develop quickly, however, it is possible to stop the disease and not allow it to develop. It's most typical for any meningitis.
- Subacute for. The disease progresses slowly and symptoms do not remain for a long period of time.
- Chronic. The symptoms develop slowly, flash of aggravation regularly alternating with periods of remission.
The causes of the disease
The main cause of meningitis is bacteria or viruses which affect soft lining of the brain. In children appears because of viruses that enter the body with contaminated food or water, and due to the lack of hygiene.
For the older generation characteristic of bacterial meningitis when bacteria gets in the bloodstream or brain tissue, cause inflammatory processes. In addition, often cause meningitis are complications of diseases and of head injuries with fractures and falls. Often this disease is transmitted directly from mother to child during childbirth, and between humans through mucous membranes, water, food and airborne.
- Children with a weakened immune system: premature infants and children with disorders in the nervous system.
- People who have trauma to the spinal cord or brain.
Particularly high risk in children of younger school and preschool age. Therefore, if any trauma to the head or the back you must immediately seek medical help. In some cases, the specialist will prescribe the antibacterial therapy.
In addition, the risk of Contracting meningitis is especially high in cities with high population density and polluted air.
Common symptoms of the disease
- Headache without accurate localization, numbness of the neck muscles, disturbance of consciousness.
- A sharp increase in temperature, up to 40degrees. It is impossible to shoot down conventional antipyretic agents.
- Fever, increased sensitivity to external stimuli: a loud sound, light, touch.
The symptoms of the disease in young children
- The fever, the hands and feet remain cold.
- Refusal of food, vomiting.
- Tearfulness, irritability, unwillingness contact.
- Tucking his knees while tilting his head.
- Faraway look.
- Drowsiness, fatigue, lethargy and apathy.
- Pale skin, red spots on the face.
It is worth noting that bacterial meningitis always begins acutely, the symptoms are well marked at the first stages of the disease. But serous, tubercular meningitis develops slowly and gradually.
Meningitis in babies can become a serious and dangerous disease. Therefore, if you notice the three main symptom, immediately seek medical assistance.
- High temperature which cannot be brought down, while hands and feet remain cold.
- Unbearable headache: the child continuously comes in screaming and crying. This means that the disease has penetrated the meninges causes irritation.
- The muscles of the back and neck are very tense, the child practically doesn't move his head.
In addition, infants under years well marked bulging of the Fontanelle. The child refuses to go on hands when touching crying.
Have older children the disease is more noticeable: a child can't sit up straight, the head is abruptly thrown back, torso tilted back, and hands it rests on the floor. In severe meningitis, the child lies on her side, her head thrown back and pulling your knees to your stomach. In the first days of the disease on the face clearly visible dark cherry or red rash.
Diagnosis of the disease
The symptoms allow you to accurately and quickly put the correct diagnosis, especially if the parents of a sick child or sick adult called the doctor at home and no attempted self-treatment, knocking down the temperature.
In meningitis cases hospitalized. During hospital stay, in infected cerebrospinal fluid is taken, allowing you to set the type of the pathogen and to determine the optimal treatment. In addition, for clarification and correction of assignments is carried out fundus examination, and imaging.
Classification of meningitis
Bacterial, as is clear from its name, is caused by bacteria penetrating the shell of the brain. Approximately 10% of cases die, because it is necessary to recognize the symptoms and begin treatment as quickly as possible. Even in the case of successful recovery, there is a chance that the treatment will occur unchanged processes in the brain. Amongcomplications and sequelae of this type of meningitis is common spasm, paralysis, insanity.
Treatment of meningitis
This is a very insidious disease, so to self-medicate is dangerous for life. The state ill with meningitis can deteriorate rapidly at any moment, moreover, may need immediate resuscitation. Because of the risk of meningitis, all treatment takes place in hospital and under medical supervision.
In the case of serous meningitis more treatment will be aimed at reducing intracranial pressure. The patient requires special vitamin-strengthen, as well as the introduction of diuretics.
Purulent meningitis is treated with antibiotics. All medications prescribed and dispensed individually, after a thorough laboratory analysis of the patient. The toxicity of the body is lowered by introducing into the bloodstream of specially selected substances.
Hospital stay will depend entirely on the condition of the patient and the stage at which the disease is. Recovery from meningitis can last up to a year, but this can speak only a doctor when the disease is fully conquered.
The consequences of the disease
The consequences of this unpleasant disease can be very different. In cases of acute meningitis, when the disease develops rapidly, and medical assistance comes too late, a person can be incapacitated or die.
If the disease was detected in time and treatment was competent and timely, the consequences can be avoided. At the initial stages of meningitis has no effect on brain processes, and after a course of recovery people can return to normal life.
An adverse outcome of the disease leads to blindness, paralysis, or deafness, especially often it happens in children. In addition, meningitis, moved in infancy, and the lack of timely medical care can lead to delayed development. The sad fact remains, and often fatal, when parents tried to self-medicate and too late to call the doctor.
Unpleasant property of viral meningitis is what special effects it has, but after a month of relapse.
Prevention of the disease
However, to combat meningitis does not require anything special: if you always wash your hands and fruits and vegetables to watch closely a diet, it is possible to avoid infection.
- If you experience disturbing symptoms should immediately consult a doctor.
- To do timely vaccination: vaccination will protect not only from major diseases, but also from meningitis, which is often accompanied by other diseases. Remember that any vaccinevalid only for 4-5 years, and after an inoculation it is necessary to do it again.
- Refrain from visiting public places and mass events in the period of seasonal exacerbation of viral diseases.
- During periods of seasonal influenza epidemics, you must use a filter mask and not to contact patients.
- To avoid infection will allow the hardening of the body. It is often necessary to be in the fresh air, exercise.