Meningitis represents a disease that causes the inflammation of the brain and the spinal cord. It can affect everyone, regardless of the age and it spreads through close contact between a healthy and an infected person.
Specialists divide meningitis into several categories, which include bacterial meningitis, viral meningitis and fungal meningitis. Furthermore, they warn people about the severity of bacterial meningitis, which can prove to be life-threatening. Viral meningitis represents the least severe type of the three mentioned, taking into consideration that the majority of affected individuals recover entirely without even receiving medical treatment. Fungal meningitis is a rare form of meningitis that affects those people with a weakened immune system because the body can no longer fight the germs, as it normally should.
Causes and Symptoms of Meningitis
The main cause that leads to meningitis are bacterial or viral infections that start in a specific part of the body, such as throat, sinuses or ears. Other causes involve autoimmune disorders, tuberculosis, syphilis and cancer. The most common signs and symptoms of meningitis involve the lack of appetite and thirst, sensitivity to light, high fever, difficulty walking and concentrating, confusion and headaches, skin rash and seizures, among others. If you notice these characteristic signs, seeking medical attention and care becomes imperative because bacterial meningitis can be deadly without antibiotic treatment. Furthermore, if someone close, namely a friend or a family member, shows the same symptoms, then taking measures that could protect you from the disease is equally important.
Useful Prevention Methods Against Meningitis
Considering the specialists’ warning and the severity of meningitis, people should take precautions instead of battling with the condition later. Regardless of the type of meningitis, nothing good can come from living with an infectious disease, which can lead to complications aend even death.
The first prevention method that people should follow without hesitation is getting the necessary vaccine. The earliest age for vaccination is 11 or 12 but receiving a booster shot between 16 and 18 years old is equally important. Those who live in college dorms and share the room with other people, as well as those entering the military or planning vacation in another country, should strongly consider this option.
The second recommendation is to avoid sharing personal items with others or kissing with the person infected. The main items that people should avoid sharing contain respiratory secretions like saliva or nasal mucus, and they include water bottles or glasses, toothbrushes, cigarettes or make-up products. Buying and using your own items could protect you from other infectious diseases apart from meningitis.
The third method that could help you prevent getting meningitis is keeping a certain distance from the person infected. Even though you do not share personal items, you do breathe the same air with other people, but you should know that meningitis could also spread through sneezing and coughing, which means that you have to maintain the recommended distance from these secretions.