Meningitis is inflammation of the meninges. The meninges is the collective name for the three membranes that envelop the brain and spinal cord. There are three types of meningitis: Bacterial, Viral, and Fungal. Bacterial meningitis is aggressive, develops quickly and can lead to permanent disability or death in a matter of hours. It is fatal in approximately 50% of cases and accounts for around 170,000 deaths around the world each year. The infection spreads from person to person through actions such as kissing, coughing, sneezing, sharing food or utensils. Children who attend daycare or preschool are at greater risk of contracting bacterial meningitis.
Viral meningitis is the most common but least severe and many patients recover without any permanent damage. Fungal meningitis causes severe infections but occurs much less frequently. It is not contagious and spreads by inhaling fungal spores from the environment.
Meningitis can be difficult to identify early on in infection. The main signs of contracting the disease are similar to the common cold and develop quickly over the course of just a few hours. Look for symptoms such as vomiting, drowsiness, stiff neck, light sensitivity, and headache as well as altered consciousness. The best way to prevent bacterial meningitis is through vaccination. Vaccines prepare the immune system by exposing the body to a germ so that it is better able to fight an infection when it occurs. The vaccines available protect against all three major causes of bacterial meningitis.
“Meningitis is a dangerous and fatal disease. People should be educated on its potential dangers and learn how to prevent infection, not just for their health, but for the health of future generations. Since the geriatric population is at high risk, we must do our best as a care center to spread awareness, not germs,” said Bar Giberstien, Administrator at Grandell.
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