Meningitis

By: Eddie Dowling

Introduction

Have you ever had a sever migraine? Well you could have Meningitis. Meningitis is the inflammation of the protective meninges in between your brain and skull. The meninges are called the arachnoid, dura mater, and pia mater. The meninges also have spinal fluid which carries the disease. Meningitis can be fatal if not taken to a doctor right away. The disease is found in infants most, but can also be in children and adults.

Types of Bacterial Meningitis

Causes and Transmissions

Meningitis can be contracted by having something in your throat. This can be kissing, coughing, sharing things like toothbrushes, drinks, and even cigarettes. Meningitis is mainly caused by bacteria and viruses. Other types can be from cancer, parasites, fungus, drugs, and even head injuries. Herpes Simplex 2 and other odd viruses can lead to Meningitis especially Meningococcal Meningitis(the bad type).

Symptoms of Meningitis

The symptoms for Meningitis includes: a bad fever, vomiting and nausea, a stiff neck, seizures, troubles sleeping, light sensitivity, troubles eating and drinking. The symptoms of Meningococcal Meningitis are: cold and shivery, pain in muscles, limbs, and joints, and purple rash(s). Symptoms of Meningitis can be hard to detect in babies because of the subtle symptoms.
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Treatments and Diagnosis

There are treatments for Meningitis that are pretty normal like other common diseases. The treatments are: lots of rest, lots of fluids and water, and over the counter pain killers. For Bacterial Meningitis, antibiotics are vital for survival. Using antibiotics improves the survivability chance to 85%. Also cortisone can be used for the purple rashes that may be found on a patients body. The diagnosis for Meningitis is imaging or as most know: x-rays. These x-rays are taken on the head or chest for signs of of meningitis. Also spinal taps and blood cultures from veins show signs of Meningitis. The signs from the spinal taps are: increased white blood cells, low sugar level, and increased protein levels. There also is a vaccine for Meningitis that anyone can get from your local pharmacist.

Prevention and Places Meningitis Affects

Meningitis can be prevented just like any other common disease. If you wash your hands, stay healthy, don't share things that have to do with your mouth, have good hygiene, and be aware of people with Meningitis, you probably won't get it, unless your in a big outbreak. Meningitis affects the U.S. every year killing 500 a year and infecting 4,000 a year with Bacterial Meningitis. 25,000 Viral Meningitis cases in the U.S. happen each year. Also the Meningitis belt in western Africa has killed many people. In 1996 the World Health Organization(WHO) donated 6 billion dollars worth of vaccines to help people in the Meningitis belt.

History of Meningitis

The first case of Meningitis was in Geneva, Switzerland in 1805. In 1891 The first major outbreak of the disease was in Massachusetts in 1771. Later, Africa started having cases from 1840 on to the 20th century. Some famous people who died from Meningitis are Oscar Wilde and Addie Joss. Oscar Wilde, the famous author, died from Meningitis in 1900. Addie Joss the famous baseball player died from Bacterial Meningitis. 1996 was a big year because of the development of vaccinations and the peak of the Meningitis belt outbreak. Also during modern day wartime Meningitis has come up because of the poor health care and bombed health facilities. Cases have been found in Eastern Europe in during war time. In 1891 the first spinal tap was done by Heinrich Quincke. Pencillin was invented in 1944 by Alexander Flemming. (Shown below)
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Bibliography

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