Home Brain and nerves What is meningitis and its treatments?

What is meningitis and its treatments?

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Inside the skull, we have membranes called meninges, which are responsible for covering and protecting the components of the central nervous system, that is, the brain and spinal cord. The meninges are three membranes called the dura, arachnoid, and pia mater, and they produce a fluid whose function is to cleanse the central nervous system, in addition to creating additional protection, which is known as cerebrospinal fluid. These layers can suffer from alterations, a product of infections through viruses or bacteria, producing a complication called meningitis. However, few people know the probability that this condition can be spread from one person to another. In this FastlyHealarticle, we will answer the question: is meningitis contagious?

What is meningitis

Meningitis is an infection that causes inflammation of the meninges, which are the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. It is a low condition, but when it appears, it can be very lethal.

Anyone can get this infection, but it is more prone in those with a weak immune system or children. It is considered a lethal disease since the condition can damage organs such as the brain or other organs of the human body, in addition to causing unconsciousness in the person.

There are several types of meningitis. However, those that occur most frequently are of viral or bacterial origin, although they can also be produced by fungi or any other organism that can cause an infection in the meninges. Meningitis has also been seen in people with head injuries, drug reactions, cancer, or other diseases.

Meningitis presents characteristic symptoms such as pain in the head, fever, sensitivity to light, stiff neck (specifically the neck), altered consciousness, drowsiness, and irritability. Some people may get a skin rash known as meningococcemia.

In the following articles, we talk in more detail about bacterial meningitis and viral meningitis.

Is meningitis contagious from person to person?

Meningitis is a contagious infectious disease.

In the case of viral meningitis, it is considered benign unless you have a fragile immune system. The spread of viral meningitis can occur through direct contact with fluids such as saliva or expectorations, direct contact with mucus from the nose, or feces, for example, in adults when changing your baby’s diapers. It can also be transmitted by touching surfaces or objects previously handled by the infected person, passing the hand over the face in general or in specific parts such as the eyes, nose, or mouth.

The form of bacterial meningitis infection, which is considered the most serious, will depend on the bacteria that originated it. Generally, when it is caused by pneumococcus, its method of transmission will be through suspended droplets contained in the air from the fluids of an infected person, for example, by a cough or sneeze. People who have risky sex or live in areas with a cold environment may be more affected.

In the case of meningococcal meningitis, it is usually challenging to transmit; however, not impossible. It is more viable to spread it to people who have direct contact, for example, through sexual relations with an infected person. As with pneumococcus, it is also transmitted by salivary or nasal drops.

Finally, another rare type of bacterial meningitis is spread through contaminated products such as dairy products or deli that pass through the digestive tract and cause infection.

Meningitis treatment

If the infection of meningitis is by a virus, generally, it will not require particular treatment since the antibiotic will not affect the virus. It is recommended to treat the symptoms that accompany the infection, for example, counteract the fever with antipyretic drugsThe patient will improve in a few days and not suffer any complications or sequelae.

In case of being infected with a bacterium, immediate attention and emergency hospitalization will be required; for this, an antibiotic must be applied through the vein so that its effect is much faster and more effective, both in the patient and in the close people.

There are methods to prevent contagion by certain bacteria; for example, by pneumococci, a vaccine must be applied to all people from childhood; with it, we avoid getting infected. Another option of vaccines is those that protect us against meningococci; for this, both children and adults should apply it to prevent infection.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Is meningitis contagious? We recommend that you enter our category of Brain and nerves .

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