Bacterial meningitis refers to a condition that leads to the inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. The disease can be life-threatening or even end in brain damage, hearing loss, and learning disabilities.
While a viral infection may spark this disease, it can also be triggered by a bacterial infection.
But there are various types of meningitis, such as bacterial, viral, and fungal.
This Mayor Boss article is about the signs and symptoms of the bacterial type and several other things you need to know about the disease.
Let’s dive in.
What is the first sign of bacterial meningitis?
The initial symptoms of bacterial meningitis are usually a stiff neck, high fever ( over 37.5 degrees), and severe headache. Other symptoms include increased sensitivity to bright lights, nausea, vomiting, sluggishness, irritability, or lack of energy, loss of appetite, and confusion.
In some circumstances, a small, red, or purple rash may manifest, it will spread all over the body. Based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the symptoms can occur suddenly, sometimes in just some hours, or they can advance over within 3 to 7 days after infection.
What are the common symptoms of bacterial meningitis in infants?
Newborns and young babies who are affected may have the above symptoms, but it may be tricky to notice, so alternatively, the below indications can be used to identify signs:
- Cry excessively, or have an unusual, high-pitched cry
- Breathe quickly
- Lack of interest in eating and be irritable
- Have a stiff body
- Having a fever
- Cold hands and feet
- A bulging soft spot on the head (fontanelle).
It is advisable to seek urgent medical attention if you suspect having bacterial meningitis. If left untreated, the person affected may suffer dangerous symptoms such as seizures, coma, increasing the risk of persistent brain damage, or even death.
What is the treatment for bacterial meningitis?
The treatment will depend on how critically the symptoms are. Usual, the first requires immediate treatment is antibiotics in the hospital given intravenously. After that, other treatments will be fluids to prevent dehydration, oxygen therapy from supporting breathing and, pain reliever to reduce fever. Also, sometimes, corticosteroid medication will be administered to help reduce any inflammation around the brain.
How can you prevent bacterial meningitis?
Vaccinations are the most powerful way to protect against bacterial meningitis. Also, It is essential to practice good hygiene, avoid cigarette smoke, and avoid close contact with somebody who has meningitis.
Lastly, if you are experiencing any symptoms of bacterial meningitis, seek medical attention immediately.