Wanted: Bacterial Meningitis

Meningococcal Meningitis

Kelsey Beausoleil

D Block

March 17, 2016


Bacterial meningitis is inflammation of the meninges. The meninges is the collective name for the three membranes that envelope the brain and spinal cord. Bacterial meningitis is caused by several different types of pathogens including: Haemophilus influenzae, Streptococcus pneumoniae, group B Streptococcus, Listeria monocytogenes, and Neisseria meningitidis.

Membranes (Meninges)

  • dura mater
  • arachnoid mater
  • pia mater
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Bacterial Meningitis can cause Septicaemia, blood poisoning caused by the bacteria that causes Bacterial meningitis.

Bacteria meningitis can be contracted through someone with meningitis by the exchange of respiratory and/ or throat secretions, ex. kissing. Moreover, if you have long and close contact with someone with the disease, you can carry the bacteria in your nose and throat, although it is unlikely you will become infected this way.


Bacterial meningitis can affect anyone, but humans under the age of five or over the age of sixty are more susceptible to the disease. People with weakened immune systems and head trauma are also at risk for contracting Bacterial meningitis.


The symptoms of bacterial meningitis are similar to a hangover, although if not treated soon enough, bacterial meningitis can be fatal. The symptoms of bacterial meningitis include, but are not limited to:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • photophobia (increased sensitivity to light)
  • Confusion
  • Altered mental status
And in extremely progressed cases:

  • seizures
  • coma

Armed and Dangerous?

People who survive bacterial meningitis may have severe damage to their bodies for the rest of their lives. Some people may experience brain damage, hearing loss, learning disabilities, memory loss, an altered mental status, co-ordination problems, residual headaches, dizziness, loss of balance, epilepsy / seizures, weakness, paralysis or spasms of part of body (if permanent, sometimes called cerebral palsy), speech problems,

loss of sight, and more.

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Hide out

Bacterial meningitis can be found in the meninges or, if the bacteria gets into your blood stream as well, all over your body. When the bacteria enters the bloodstream it is known as septicaemia.

Anyone can contract bacterial meningitis from anywhere in the world, although in sub- Saharan Africa there is an are know as the "meningitis belt" when stretches form Senegal to Ethiopia. During the months of December through June aka the dry season, upper respiratory tract infections and strong, dusty winds combine for the perfect environment for bacterial meningitis to spread.


There is a 10% death rate from bacterial meningitis if diagnosed and treated early enough, although it can reach as high up as 25%.

In those with severe bacterial meningitis or a very fast onset of illness, the death rate can be as high as 90%

You can reduce the risk of contracting bacterial meningitis by getting vaccinated if traveling to a high risk area or if you believe you may have come into close contact with an infected person.

Patients showing symptoms are immediately started on a broad spectrum antibiotic for bacterial meningitis before even receiving the blood tests. If not treated soon enough, bacterial meningitis is fatal. Antibiotics typically used to treat bacterial meningitis include Claforan and Rocephin.

Bacterial Meningitis