Even in this day and age with all the advancements in medical science and technology, Meningitis can be life-threatening. A large number of such cases are reported in the UK every year. The disease results in inflammation of the protective membrane that surrounds the brain and the spinal cord. Usually it is caused by a virus or bacteria, but even reasons like injury, certain medicines and illness can also lead to the disease.
Disease types: There are five distinct types of Meningitis cases.
Causes: It is caused mainly by enteroviruses, although mumps, measles and chicken pox viruses are also found to be responsible. Even viruses that are spread through mosquitos can spread the disease.
Symptoms and cure: Viral Meningitis symptoms include headache, stiff neck and fever and it is often seen that patients get cured on their own, without any particular treatment. In certain cases, doctors prescribe antiviral medicines, after considering a patient’s age and general health.
Prevention: Wash your hands thoroughly with medicated hand wash after using toilets and changing diapers. Avoid direct body contact with affected persons and get vaccinated againts diseases like mumps, measles, chicken pox and rubella.
Bacterial Menigitis can cause severe complications including brain damage and loss of hearing. It is potentially life-threatening if proper treatment is not given at the right time.
Causes: This type of the disease is caused by certain bacteria, like Haemophilus influenza, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Neisseria meningitides. The disease caused by Haemophilus influenza is also known as Type B Meningitis. Cases of bacterial Meningitis spread from affected individuals, through sneezing, coughing, mouth-to-mouth kissing and oral resurrection. The bacteria get into the blood stream of a normal person and gradually reach the brain and the spinal cord.
Symptoms: The common symptoms of this type of Meningitis include fever, stiff neck and severe headache. Patients also develop nausea, rashes and light sensitivity within a few days of getting infected. Often, the symptoms are mistaken as flu and hence, private GP practices in London suggest to diagnose patients with such symptoms with utmost care.
Cure and prevention: Proper dosage of antibiotics can cure the problem but, as already mentioned earlier, medication should start without much delay. Meningococcal vaccines are the best preventive measure to it.
Men B vaccine for children: This vaccine is mainly for babies falling in the age groups of 8 weeks, 16 weeks and 1 year. It protects your child from meningococcal group B bacteria. Considering the high Meningitis B vaccine cost at private clinics in London, you can take your baby to the routine childhood vaccination programme provided by the NHS. There, the preventive medication is provided free.
Fungal Meningitis: Such cases are rarely found in the UK these days. It is mainly caused by breathing in fungal spores from bird and bat droppings. People with weak immune system are at high risk developing the disease.
Treatment: High dosage of anti-fungal intravenous medicines are prescribed in such cases.
Parasitic Meningitis: A parasite, Naegleria fowleri, is the culprit behind this disease. A patient develops a serious infection in the brain, which progresses very fast. These cases are rarely found, but can be fatal.
Symptoms: The symptoms are almost the same as mentioned above. Moreover, complexities like confusion, hallucination, seizures and balance loss may develop. The parasite causing the disease dwell in fresh water, as in lakes, hot springs and rivers. They enter the brain through the nose and affects the brain tissues. Unlike the other types of the disease, this one does not spread through contamination from affected patients.
Non infectious Meningitis: It occurs as side-effect of cancer, a injury in the head and even from certain medications.
Symptoms: Patients complain of stiff neck, fever, vomiting and sensitivity towards light.