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Doctors who treat MENINGITIS or similar ailments belong to following departments:
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General Medicine;Neurology;

General Medicine , Neurology



ABOUT THE DISEASE

The brain and spinal cord are covered by membranes called meninges which help to protect the brain and spinal cord from injury. Meningitis is an infection of these membranes (meninges) causing swelling and irritation. It can be caused by a bacterial, fungal or viral infection. Meningitis can be acute, with a quick onset of symptoms, or chronic, lasting a month or more, or it can be mild or aseptic. It is a medical emergency and requires immediate medical attention, in case any of its symptoms are observed as it can cause brain injury or even death, if left untreated.

Meningitis

CAUSES

Viral meningitis can result because of Herpes virus, west nile virus, HIV, etc

Bacterial meningitis is common due to meningococcus. Meningococcal meningitis can occur at any age. However, children and young adults get it most often. It usually develops in the winter and spring. It is contagious and can spread easily from person to person through coughing, sneezing, kissing, or sharing a drinking glass. India has a high incidence of tubercular meningitis as well.

Some risk factors for adults include:
- Alcohol addiction
- Chronic nose and ear infections
- Head injury
- Pneumococcal pneumonia
- Weakened immune system

SYMPTOMS

Viral meningitis is generally milder and may get better without treatment.

Signs and symptoms of bacterial meningitis may include:

  • • High fever and chills.
  • • Stiff neck. - meningismus.
  • • Sensitivity to light - photophobia.
  • • Headache.
  • • Being confused.
  • • Vomiting.
  • • Red spots or purple blotches on the skin.

In babies, symptoms may also include:

  • • Restlessness.
  • • Rapid breathing.
  • • Poor feeding.
  • • Sleepiness.
  • • A bulging soft spot on the baby`s head (fontanelles)

DIAGNOSIS

- Medical history
- Physical examination, as stiff neck and red spots on skin along with fever, help to make a diagnosis.
- Lumbar puncture (cerebrospinal fluid examination)
- CT Scan
- Blood culture

TREATMENT METHODS

Depending on the cause, antiviral or antibiotic medicines may be used.

Bacterial meningitis is treated with antibiotics.

In some cases, steroids are used to help decrease swelling and prevent problems such as hearing loss and seizures. The treatment is started immediately without waiting for the test results on the basis of symptoms to avoid any damage to the brain.

Once the specific bacteria are identified, the antibiotics may be changed.


You may also like to learn about:

Pneumonia
Fever
Head injury
Brain tumor
Headache
Seizures


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