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Posted: September 14th, 2023

Causes and symptoms of Meningitis

Causes and symptoms of Meningitis
Meningitis refers to the inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord known as the meninges. There are various causes of meningitis that can lead to this inflammation. Some of the most common causes include both bacterial and viral infections.
Bacterial meningitis is usually caused by three types of bacteria – Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus), Neisseria meningitidis (meningococcus), and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib). While bacterial meningitis can affect people of any age, some groups are at increased risk including newborns, young children, people with certain medical conditions such as those with a compromised immune system, and people living in close quarters. (Wahl, O’Brien, & Greenbaum, 2018).
Viral meningitis on the other hand is often caused by enteroviruses which are common during summer and fall. Other viruses that may cause viral meningitis include herpes simplex virus, varicella zoster virus, mumps virus, and West Nile virus. Viral meningitis is usually not as severe as bacterial meningitis and often resolves on its own. However, it can occasionally lead to long-term complications. (WHO, 2023).
In terms of symptoms, both bacterial and viral meningitis share some common signs including fever, headache, and neck stiffness due to meningeal irritation. Nausea, vomiting, photophobia, and altered mental status such as confusion or decreased consciousness may also be present depending on the specific cause. In bacterial meningitis, these symptoms often have a rapid onset within hours or days whereas viral meningitis symptoms tend to have a more gradual onset over days. (Wahl, O’Brien, & Greenbaum, 2018; WHO, 2023). research paper writing service.
In summary, meningitis has several potential causes with the most common being certain bacterial and viral infections. The symptoms can vary based on the specific cause but often include fever, headache, and neck stiffness. Prompt diagnosis and treatment is important, especially for bacterial meningitis cases, to prevent complications and improve outcomes.
Wahl, B., O’Brien, K. L., & Greenbaum, A. (2018). Burden of Group B Streptococcal Disease Worldwide for Pregnant Women, Stillbirths, and Children. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 66(suppl_2), S200–S219. https://doi.org/10.1093/cid/cix1085
WHO. (2023). Meningitis. World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/meningitis

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