Meningitis is a serious illness that causes global deaths of about 1,000 people every day. Most often affects the younger population, and it is possible to occur in older people. People who suffer from a chronic disease or have a weakened immune system are at increased risk of developing meningitis.
WHAT IS MENINGITIS AND WHAT CAUSES IT?
Meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges, or the membranes that are surrounding the brain. This disease is often the result of infection to brain membranes and can occur via blood circulation or surrounding structures (sinuses, middle ear, etc..). It is a very contagious disease that can be transmitted through dirty hands, coughing, sneezing or close contact. Depending on what type of organism is the cause of the infection, we distinguish:
- Viral meningitis. majority of cases of meningitis result from viral infection. This type of meningitis is with milder symptoms and may be withdrawn without therapy.
- Bacterial meningitis. Most common causes of this type of meningitis are bacterias Streptococcus pneumoniae, Neisseria meningitidis, Haemophilus influenzae, and Listeria monocytogenes. After the diagnosis of bacterial meningitis it is advised to immediately start treatment, because it can cause significant damage to brain tissue and to be fatal.
- Meningitis caused by fungi. It is a rare type of meningitis that unlike the previous two, is not transmitted from person to person.
Besides infection, there are other causes of meningitis, such as some types of cancer, sarcoidosis, allergies to certain medications etc..