1. What is meningitis?
Meningitis is a condition in which there is inflammation and swelling on the meninges (a set of delicate membranes covering and protecting the brain and the spinal cord). The swelling is generally due to an infection or inflammation due to other causes like autoimmune disorders.
2. What are the symptoms of meningitis?
A person having meningitis will initially show symptoms similar to flu, which include fever, headache and neck pain. In addition, you may also have the following signs: seizures, nausea, vomiting, difficulty to wake up, loss of hunger and thirst and sleepiness.
3. What are the causes of meningitis?
The common cause of meningitis is a microbial infection in the fluid surrounding the brain and the spinal cord. Viral infections most often cause meningitis. However, you may have a bacterial or fungal infection.The other causes of meningitis include injury, cancer, inflammatory diseases like sarcoidosis or drug allergies.
4. What are the useful measures for the diagnosis of meningitis?
Diagnosis of meningitis is based on the clinical symptoms and a detailed history taking. Your doctor will order blood tests to monitor the levels of red blood cells and white blood cells. He will also order a test for the examination of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). If required, your doctor may also order an X-ray and scan of the skull like CT or MRI scan.
5. How is meningitis treated?
Treatment of meningitis can be decided depending upon the exact causeof the condition, age of the patient, the risk involved and the symptoms. Antimicrobial agents and steroids are highly effective. Depending on the type of meningitis the treatment will include, antibiotics either alone or in combination with antivirals and antifungals by oral medicines or injections.