Signs of Meningitis

Meningitis is a complex inflammation of the membranes of the brain or spinal cord, a serious disease that constitutes a great danger to humans. Meningitis, the number of deaths from infectious diseases, ranks 10th in the world. Mortality from meningitis ranges from 10 to 20%. Distinguish:

  • leptomeningitis - inflammation of the soft and arachnoid membranes of the brain,
  • arachnoiditis - inflammation of the arachnoid membranes,
  • pachymeningitis is an inflammation of the hard lining of the brain.

But in practice, the term "meningitis" implies, in general, leptomeningitis, which can occur in people of any age, but most often it occurs in children.

What could be meningitis

Meningitis is primary or secondary. Primary meningitis develops if during the infection of the body, the membranes of the brain are immediately affected, that is, the disease immediately affects the brain.

Secondary meningitis develops in the background, as a secondary disease. Primary diseases can be: parotitis, leptospirosis, otitis media and others. Thus, the infection spreads throughout the body, and soon affects the lining of the brain. In general, meningitis is always acute, and develops within a couple of days.

Causes of primary meningitis

Meningitis itself is an infectious disease, and primary meningitis can cause:

  1. Bacteria. The main cause of meningitis is meningococcal disease. The source of transmission is people who carry bacteria of this type, suffer from nasopharyngitis or suffer from intestinal infections. The infection is usually transmitted by airborne droplets and is most often found in densely populated areas. In places where there are many children, that is, schools, kindergartens, meningococcal infection can cause outbreaks of meningitis. Provided that meningitis caused meningococcus, purulent meningitis occurs. Also, other bacterial organisms can cause meningitis - pneumococcus, tubercle bacillus, spirochete or hemophilic bacilli.
  2. Viruses. The cause of viral meningitis may be a viral infection. A more likely disease is viral meningitis due to an enterovirus infection, but there have also been cases of viral meningitis caused by the herpes virus, measles, rubella and mumps. Viral meningitis is called serous.
  3. Fungi and protozoa can also cause serous or purulent meningitis.

Causes of secondary meningitis

As a rule, the causes of secondary meningitis are primary infections:

  • Furunculosis of the face, neck or head. The most dangerous furuncles are those that are located above the level of the lips.
  • Fronts
  • Sinusitis
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Lung abscess

If these diseases were treated incorrectly, the infection can get into the meninges and thus cause secondary meningitis.

The first signs of meningitis

The main signs of meningitis in children and adults are:

  • Feverish, temperature can rise to 39 degrees or more
  • There is weakness in the whole body.
  • Lack of appetite
  • There is pain in the joints and muscles.

For several hours or days, depending on the strength and development of the body, the characteristic symptoms of meningitis begin to appear against the background of constantly elevated temperatures.

Signs of Meningitis in Adults

  • There is a severe headache, which is diffuse in nature, that is, spread throughout the head.After some time, the pain becomes stronger and begins to acquire a full-blown character. Further, the pain becomes unbearable, a person can moan. Then the pain is accompanied by nausea and vomiting. In general, a headache for meningitis may worsen if you change the position of the body, or act with some kind of external stimulus, loud sounds or noise.
  • Characteristic of meningococcal meningitis is a rash, cherry small dots with a mild form that disappear within 3-4 days, and large spots and bruises that disappear around 10 days with a severe form of meningitis.
  • Confused consciousness.
  • Excessive vomiting, after which it does not get easier.
  • Also characteristic signs of meningitis are strabismus, when the background of the disease affects the nerves of the skull, and confused state.
  • A sign of Kernig is a fairly early sign of damage to the dura mater. It is detected in the impossible extension of the leg at the knee joint, which is previously bent at a right angle at the knee and hip joints.
  • The upper symptom of Brusinsky is caused by involuntary bending of the legs at the knee joint, in response to the patient's attempt to bend the head to the chest while lying down.
  • The lower symptom of Bruzinsky undergoes a study simultaneously with the sign of Kernig: when trying to bend the legs at the knee joints, either of the two legs bends at the knee and rises to the stomach
  • The so-called meningeal signs are strained muscles of the occipital part, severe pain occurs when the patient tries to bend his head to his chest, or to bend his legs at the knees. As a rule, patients with meningitis prefer to lie on their side most of all, with their knees raised to the stomach and their head thrown back.

Signs of Meningitis in Children

  • Loose stools (diarrhea)
  • Drowsiness, apathy, total refusal to eat, constantly crying, crying and anxiety
  • Cramps
  • Swelling and pulsation of the head fontanel
  • Repeatedly recurring regurgitation and vomiting.

Meningitis is a very dangerous disease, which is difficult to treat, and after which the manifestation of complications such as strabismus, dementia, hearing loss and convulsive seizures is possible. Our article describes in detail what signs of meningitis can be in both children and adults. Therefore, be careful, try not to overcool, to drive less in city transport and to vaccinate in time, be healthy!