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Doctor insights on: Where Does Bacterial Meningitis Come From

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Dr. William Singer
856 doctors shared insights

Meningitis (Definition)

A condition in which the membrane surrounding the brain and spinal cord becomes inflamed. Symptoms include headaches, fever, stiff neck, and a sensitivity to light. There are two primary types of ...Read more


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Can bacterial meningitis be treated?

Yes: Most are initially treated with several 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

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How is bacterial meningitis transmitted?

Bacterial meningitis: 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 leading causes of bacterial meningitis in the United States include haemophilus influenzae (most often caused by type b, hib). ...Read more

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How do people catch bacterial meningitis?

How do people catch bacterial meningitis?

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

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What are symptoms of bacterial meningitis?

What are symptoms of bacterial meningitis?

Do you mean symptoms: Fever, headache, increased sensitivity to light and sound, stiff neck, nausea and vomiting, changes in thinking, level of consciousness, and so on. If you think you are getting meningitis go see a doctor asap instead of trying to diagnose yourself. ...Read more

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Is a baby able to get bacterial meningitis?

Is a baby able to get bacterial meningitis?

Yes: Although it is thankfully rare, it can be life threatening. Generally a baby with meningitis will be extremely ill. Obviously, if you ever have such a concern, have your baby evaluated immediately. ...Read more

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I'm concerned. What symptoms go with bacterial meningitis?

I'm concerned. What symptoms go with bacterial meningitis?

Please see below.: Symptoms of meningitis (bacterial or viral) include severe headache, stiff neck, sensitivity to light, and fever. If you think you may have meningitis, please get checked by your doctor or the er now. ...Read more

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If I had symptoms of bacterial meningitis, how long would I have to live?

If I had symptoms of bacterial meningitis, how long would I have to live?

Meningitis: If you actually have bacterial meningitis the rate of its progression depends upon the organism and the individual who gets it. With fast and effective treatment your chances of fully recovery are good. Without treatment, time to death is again variable. ...Read more

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Can you be a silent carrrier of bacterial meningitis longer than one year?

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

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My friend was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis, can I catch it from him?

My friend was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis, can I catch it from him?

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

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Can you develop Mollarets meningitis after having bacterial meningitis initially?

Can you develop Mollarets meningitis after having bacterial meningitis initially?

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

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What is the maximum duration a person can be a silent carrier of bacterial meningitis?

What is the maximum duration a person can be a silent carrier of bacterial meningitis?

Bacterial carriage: The tricky thing with Neisseria meningitidis, the bacteria most responsible for bacterial meningitis in young people be 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

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Had bacterial meningitis- confirmed with LP and treated. Why is it that some recover and some die?

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

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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

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How is bacterial meningitis treated?

How is bacterial meningitis treated?

Antibiotics: Usually with high doses of intravenous antibiotics, sometimes accompanied by steroids. ...Read more

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I think I have bacterial meningitis?

I think I have bacterial meningitis?

Hopefully not...: But if you think so, get taken to the hospital now. ...Read more

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Are there official recommendations for treating bacterial meningitis?

Yes: They vary by age of patient and severity of illness, but they always include antibiotics, almost always a spinal tap, and sometimes steroids. ...Read more

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Is bacterial meningitis contagious?

Is bacterial meningitis contagious?

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

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How do you get bacterial meningitis?

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

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How do you get bacterial meningitis?

How do you get bacterial meningitis?

Contagion: Some are from contact with an infected patient such as meningococcal, but some develop secondary to an infection elsewhere in the body, such as lung affected cns. ...Read more

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How can one get bacterial meningitis?

How can one get bacterial meningitis?

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

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How do you catch bacterial meningitis?

Meningitis: Bacterial meningitis is typically acquired from respiratory droplets or oral secretions from another human infected with the bacteria. ...Read more

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What tests confirm bacterial meningitis?

What tests confirm bacterial meningitis?

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

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How does someone get bacterial meningitis?

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

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How to tell if I have bacterial meningitis?

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

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How long can bacterial meningitis last for?

How long can bacterial meningitis last for?

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

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How common is bacterial meningitis in the US?

How common is bacterial meningitis in the US?

Meningococcal rates: Approximately 800-1,500 cases of meningococcal disease occur annually in the United States. Rates are decreasing due to improvement in vaccination programs. ...Read more

Dr. Shah Chowdhury
128 doctors shared insights

Bacterial Meningitis (Definition)

Bacterial meningitis can be a life-threatening illness that results from bacterial infection of the meninges (membrane covering the brain) and leaves some ...Read more


Bacteria (Definition)

Are omnipresent single celled organisms which are the both the simplest form of life and the original form of life on earth. The are ...Read more