Most people confuse the signs and symptoms of meningitis from those of other medical conditions such as influenza. As a matter of fact, an outbreak will mostly be characterized by a flu-like infection or illness, hence the huge confusion. The need to be alert and learn the characteristic signs can never be overemphasized enough. This ensures you act quickly and the right measures are taken on time, a move that can actually save a life.
The causes of the disease are categorized into 3: bacterial, viral, and very rarely, fungal infections. Bacterial infections are the most common and unfortunately the most life-threatening. As the name may suggest, these are infections caused by bacteria. It is important for your doctor to properly diagnose the actual cause of the infection so that the right treatment plan can be taken.
Some of the risk factors associated with the condition include skipping vaccinations. The risk of developing this medical condition rises if one does not complete the recommended adult or childhood vaccinations on time. It is also associated with age, with most cases affecting children below the age of 5. Statistically, bacterial meningitis will affect people below the age of 20, particularly those living in society settings.
Research shows that the risk factors are also very high for people living in community settings such as in dormitories, military camps and childcare facilities. The reason for this is because the disease causing bacteria spreads quite fast via the respiratory tract. This means it will be widespread in a community setting when people assemble.
Pregnancy is also a known factor, mainly because of the listeriosis bacteria which often contributes to bacterial infections in expectant mothers. There is enough reason to believe it can lead to meningitis in expectant mothers, and which can equally affect the unborn child.
People living with compromised immune systems, e. G. Those with HIV/AIDs, diabetes, alcoholics, or those using immunosuppressant medication are also at a very high risk of getting the condition. Having said that, the following are some of the most common signs and symptoms that you should look out for.
Stiff neck, sudden high fever, seizures, sensitivity to light, difficulty waking up or sleepiness, difficulty concentrating or confusion, vomiting or nausea sometimes accompanied by headache, very severe headache that cannot be confused with a “normal” headache, skin rashes, very high fever and irritability. These are associated with an infection of those above the age of 2.
For newborns and toddlers, the symptoms could be irritability, poor feeding, crying regularly which worsens when the toddler is picked, excessive/abnormal sleepiness, extremely high fever, stiff neck and stiff parts of the body, and a swell in the fontanel.
You should seek urgent medical condition when you notice such signs and symptoms of meningitis like sudden high fever, severe and unrelenting headache, vomiting, confusion, and stiff neck. While the cause may not always be meningitis, getting a clean bill of health from your doctor, or seeking early treatment at the onset of the condition, will always improve the chances of complete healing and of course ease the pain that comes with the condition.
You can visit the website www.meningitis-angels.org for more helpful information about The Hallmark Signs And Symptoms Of Meningitis That You Should Be Aware Of