Doctor insights on:
What Does Bacterial Meningitis Feel Like
If someone has bacterial meningitis they'll be really sick right? Like, there's no way they'll not know they have an illness?
Yes: Most are initially treated with several different antibiotics at high doses until lab data shows which med would do the best job acting alone. Early diagnosis & treatment permit the best outcome. There is a risk of complications in all which very with the type of germ & speed of detection and treatment. ...Read more
Bacterial meningitis is usually severe. While most people with meningitis recover, it can cause serious complications, such as brain damage, hearing loss, or learning disabilities.
There are several pathogens (types of germs) that can cause bacterial meningitis. Some of the leading causes of bacterial meningitis in the United States include haemophilus influenzae (most often caused by type b, hib). ...Read more
Exposure/susceptable: It's puzzeling but some people can cary meningitis germs in their nose or throat & never get ill. We can get exposed to droplets in a sneeze, cough, kiss or mucous planted on a door handle. Touching our face with unwashed fingers carries germs that gain entrance to our nose/mouth/eye & if susceptabe, the germ begins to invade. We have cut the #'s of kid cases with vaccines & many adults could benifit. ...Read more
Doubt it: Think of your "carrier centers"-the nasal passages & upper airway/throat as a hotel. Germs check in, stay for a while & leave. Some, including those causing meningitis can cause infection or just pass along in your saliva and end up on a doorknob or banister. Many will come back. The only germ we know to persist in prolonged carriage is group A strep, which often doesn't affect carriers. ...Read more
Sure: If you are a close contact with him you likely need medication to reduce your risk of contracting this. Usually in this scenerio the local health department is involved in making sure all those exposed are treated adequately so you may need to contact them for advice. ...Read more
Possible, unlikely: Most Molleret's meningitis (recurrent aseptic [viral, non-bacterial] meningitis) is due to recurrent herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV2) infection of the central nervous system. Look at it as recurrent genital herpes of the brain or spinal cord. (True!) Its frequency is unrelated to prior bacterial meningitis. However, after bacterial meningiits, some people might have mild recurrent symptoms. ...Read more
Bacterial carriage: The tricky thing with Neisseria meningitidis, the bacteria most responsible for bacterial meningitis in young people is that it can be 'carried' in the nose/throat for weeks to months by unsuspecting people. In those folks, it doesn't cause disease, but in a crowded setting can spread to others (coughs, sneezes, kisses, shared drinks etc) where it can then attack others. We have good vaccines tho. ...Read more
Had bacterial meningitis- confirmed with LP and treated. Why is it that some recover and some die?
Luck/good docs: Some forms of bacterial meningitis are more aggressive & time sensitive than others which leaves a narrow window for recognition and treatment to be successful. Some patients have better individual response to germ invasion which slows the germ until meds kick in. If you have an aggressive germ and a poor immune system you are more likely to die, even when treatment is started quickly. ...Read more
Had bacterial meningitis symptoms for days, still recovered- but others die in same amount of time. Why is that? I don't understand why I made it
Odd statement: You say symptoms but that does not mean you had it. Many viral illnesses like mono can have symptoms that overlap with bacterial meningitis but self heal. Those with true bacterial meningitis verified by spinal tap & culture often recover completely with proper treatment. Your story has many assumptions not supported by any detail. We can't explain anything based on what you have written. ...Read more
Some types: Meningococcal meningitis can be highly contagious, especially in close quarters, e.g. College dorms, military recruits. Vaccinations recommended, before exposure, contacts get prophylactic antibiotic rx. Others may or not be, depending on the type and how the meningitis was contracted. ...Read more
Infection: Don't know what you are looking for- giving a general answer. Usually infection from other parts of body may spread to the meninges (the layers surrounding the brain). Infection in blood, infection in parts of body adjacent to the brain like ear, nose, sinus etc. And also if the is some form if manipulation of the meninges (shunt, brain surgery, lumbar puncture), it increases the risk. ...Read more
Germ + invasion: Your typical meningitis germ can be acquired from contact with an asymptomatic carrier or actual meningitis patient in secretions they leave behind. This includes on objects or surface or through direct contact. Your hands can pick them up, pass them to your face where they can enter the nose or upper airway. They can linger for a while & do nothing or begin to invade & cause you an infection. ...Read more
Spinal fluid culture: To diagnose bacterial meningitis, typically, a spinal tap is done to remove a small amount of cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds the spinal cord and brain. The fluid is tested for the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, protien, and glucose. Then the fluid is cultured for bacteria which can take up to 3 to 4 days for results. It may also be cultured for viruses and that can take 7 day. ...Read more
Not easily: The organisms causing this usually live in the back of the nose and throat as normal bacterial populations. They get into the blood stream and enter the subarachnoid space (surrounded by the meninges) though a structure called the choroid plexus. It is an uncommon disease these days since advent of vaccines for the meningococcus, pneumococcus and hemophilus influenzae. ...Read more
Bacterial Meningitis: Inflammation accounts for some symptoms of bacterial meningitis such as headache, sensitivity to light, and neck stiffness. Common symptoms of bacterial meningitis include difficulty thinking clearly, fever greater than 101*f, generalized aches and pains, irritability, loss of appetite, lethargy, rash, rapid heart beat, and seizure. ...Read more
Bacterial meningitis: Acute bacterial meningitis usually presents within 24 hours of the start of infection due to the severity of symptoms. Treatment with antibiotics can rapidly clear the bacterial infection, but neurologic sequelae can persist for days to weeks or longer, and in some cases may be permanent. ...Read more
Bacterial meningitis: The symptoms depend on the age of the patient. In children & babies they may not be able to tell us about their symptoms. They maye fever, vomitig lethargy or not feed well. Children however may be far progressed before their symptoms come to be noticed. If your child is not neuologically ame as routine & has fever you should have him/her be checked asap. ...Read more
Headache occurs in at least 90% of people with meningitis. Stiff neck occurs in at least 85% of people with meningitis
fever and chills occur in at least 90% of people with meningitis. Vomiting occurs in about 35% of people with meningitis
fear of bright lights (photophobia)
confusion seizures history of a recent upper respiratory infection. ...Read more
Like the flu: Great question. Bacteria causesinflammation of a protective layer of the brain and spinal cord called the meninges. Clinically, movements that stretch this layer (i.e. Bending the neck forward) will be painful. It can also lead to flu- symptoms such as headache, fever, malaise, nausea, and vomiting. Light sensitivity can also occur (photophobia). ...Read more
Fever & headache: Bacterial meningitis is a dangerous, often life-threatening disease. It is an infection of the covering of the brain. Most have fever, malaise, headache, and pain when bending chin down to chest. Some patients have purple, blotchy rashes. If you susepct meninigits, go quickly to your closest emergency room. Fortunaely, some types are preventable with vaccines. ...Read more
Bacterial meningitis: THere is no one answer. Depends on the bacteria and on the person. Some meningococcal and pneumococcal meningitis cases may progress to death within a matter of hours. Very much depends, too, on how quickly the diagnosis is made and treatment started. THe quicker the treatment, the better the chances. ...Read more
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