Health and Fitness

 What is Meningitis?


Meningitis is inflammation of the fluid and membranes (meninges) around your brain and spinal cord. Inflammation from meningitis usually triggers signs and symptoms such as headache, fever, and neck stiffness.

A viral infection causes most cases of meningitis in Pakistan, but bacterial, parasitic, and fungal infections are other causes. Some cases of meningitis get better in a few weeks without treatment. Others can be life-threatening and require some emergency antibiotic treatment.

If you suspect that someone has this, seek immediate medical attention.


Early symptoms of this disease can mimic the flu. Symptoms may appear within hours.

Possible signs and symptoms in people older than 2 years include:

  • Sudden high fever
  • Stiffness in the neck
  • Severe headache that feels different from normal.
  • Headache with nausea or vomiting
  • Confusion or difficulty concentrating
  • Visits
  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying awake
  • Light sensitivity
  • Neither hunger nor thirst
  • Skin rash

Signs in newborns

Newborns and infants may show these symptoms:

  • High fever
  • Constant crying
  • Excessive sleepiness or irritability
  • Difficulty waking up from sleep
  • Inactivity or lethargy.
  • Do not get up to eat
  • Poor feeding
  • Vomit
  • A bulge (fontanelle) in the soft spot on the baby’s head.
  • Stiffness in body and neck.

Infants with this may be difficult to comfort and may cry more when held.

When to see a doctor

If you or someone in your family has symptoms of meningitis, such as:

  • Fever
  • Severe, unrelenting headache
  • Get confused
  • Vomit
  • Stiffness in the neck

Book an appointment through online medical consultation. Bacterial meningitis is serious and can be fatal within days without cause antibiotic treatment. Delaying treatment increases the risk of brain damage or death.

It’s also important to talk to your doctor if a family member or someone you live with has meningitis. You need to take medication to prevent infection.


Meningitis opens a pop-up dialog box

Viral infections are the most common cause of this, followed by bacterial infections and rarely fungal and parasitic infections. Bacterial infections could be life-threatening, identifying the cause is important.

Bacterial meningitis

Bacteria that enter the bloodstream and travel to the brain and spinal cord could cause acute bacterial meningitis. But it can also happen when bacteria invade the meninges directly. It can be caused by ear or sinus infections, skull fractures, or – rarely – certain surgeries.

Several strains of bacteria could cause acute bacterial disease, most commonly:

  • Streptococcus pneumonia (pneumococcus). This bacterium is the most common cause of bacterial meningitis in Pakistan infants, toddlers, and adults. It usually causes pneumonia or an ear or sinus infection.
  • Neisseria meningitides (meningococcus) this bacterium is another important cause of bacterial meningitis. These bacteria usually cause upper respiratory infections but can cause meningococcal meningitis when they enter the bloodstream. It is a highly epidemic infection that mainly affects teenagers and young adults.
  • It can cause endemic outbreaks in college hostels, boarding schools, and military bases. A vaccine can help prevent infection. Even if vaccinated, anyone who has been in close contact with someone with meningococcal disease should receive oral antibiotics to prevent the disease.

Haemophilus influenza (Haemophilus). But the new Hib vaccine has significantly reduced the number of cases of this type of meningitis.

Listeria monocytogenes (Listeria). These bacteria are found in unpasteurized cheese, hot dogs, and lunch meats. Pregnant women, infants, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems are most susceptible. Listeria can cross the placental barrier, and infection late in pregnancy can be fatal to the baby. You can buy medication from an online medical store in Pakistan.

Viral meningitis

This is usually mild and often clears up on its own.  Viruses such as herpes simplex virus, HIV, mumps virus, West Nile virus, and others can cause viral meningitis.

Chronic meningitis

Slow-growing organisms (such as cocci and Mycobacterium tuberculosis) that attack the membranes and fluid surrounding your brain cause chronic meningitis. Chronic meningitis develops over two weeks. The signs and symptoms of chronic meningitis — headache, fever, vomiting, and brain clouding — are similar to those of acute meningitis.

Fungal meningitis

Fungal meningitis is relatively uncommon in Pakistan. It can mimic acute bacterial meningitis. It is often contracted by breathing in fungal spores found in soil, decaying wood, and bird droppings. Fungal meningitis is not contagious from person to person. Cryptococcal meningitis is a common fungal disease affecting people with immune deficiencies. It is fatal if not treated with an antifungal drug. Even with the treatment, fungal meningitis can recur.

Parasitic meningitis

Parasites can cause a rare type of meningitis that is called eosinophilic meningitis. Parasitic meningitis can also be caused by a tapeworm infection of the brain (cysticercosis) or cerebral malaria. Amoebic meningitis is a rare form that is sometimes contracted by swimming in fresh water and can quickly become fatal. The main parasites that cause meningitis can usually infect animals. People are usually infected by eating food contaminated with these parasites. Parasitic meningitis does not spread between people.

Other causes of meningitis

Meningitis can also be caused by non-infectious causes, such as chemical reactions, drug allergies, certain types of cancer, and inflammatory diseases such as sarcoidosis.

Risk factors

Risk factors for meningitis include:

Skipping vaccinations. The risk is increased for someone who has not completed the recommended childhood or adult vaccination schedule.

Age most cases of viral meningitis occur in children under five years of age. Bacterial meningitis is common in children under the age of 20.

Living in a community setting. College students living in dormitories, personnel on military bases, and children living in boarding schools and childcare facilities are at high risk of meningococcal meningitis. This is probably because the bacterium spreads through the respiratory tract, and spreads rapidly through large groups.

Pregnancy increases the risk of listeriosis – an infection caused by Listeria bacteria, which can also cause this disease. Listeriosis increases the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, and premature birth.

Compromised immune system. AIDS, alcoholism, diabetes, use of immunosuppressive drugs, and other factors that affect your immune system also make you more susceptible to this disease. Having your spleen removed also increases your risk, and anyone without a spleen should get vaccinated to reduce that risk.


Complications of this can be severe. The longer you or your child has the disease without treatment, the greater will be the risk of seizures and permanent nerve damage, including:

  • Hearing loss
  • Memory problems
  • Learning Disability.
  • Brain damage
  • Problems walking
  • Visits
  • Kidney failure
  • jerk
  • Death

With prompt treatment, people with severe diseases can make a good recovery.


Common bacteria or viruses that can cause this can be spread by coughing, sneezing, kissing, or eating utensils, toothbrushes, or cigarettes.

These steps can help prevent meningitis:

Wash your hands. Careful hand washing helps to prevent the spread of germs. Teach children to wash their hands often, especially before eating and after using the toilet and spending time in a crowded public place. Show them how to wash and wash their hands thoroughly and thoroughly.

Practice good hygiene. Do not share drinks, food items, straws, eating utensils, lip balm, or toothbrushes with others. Teach children to avoid sharing these things as well.

Healthy Living. Keep your immune system strong by getting plenty of rest, exercising regularly, and eating a healthy diet with fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Cover your mouth. Be sure to cover your mouth and nose when you need to cough and sneeze.

Be careful with what you eat if you are pregnant. Reduce your risk of lacerations by cooking meats, including hot dogs and deli meats, to 165 F (74 C). Avoid cheese made from unpasteurized milk. Choose cheeses that are clearly labeled as being made from pasteurizing milk.


Some forms of bacterial meningitis can be prevented by the following vaccines:

Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend this vaccine for babies starting at about 2 months of age. The vaccine is also recommended for some adults, including those who have sickle cell disease or AIDS and who do not have a spleen.

Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13). This vaccine is also part of the routine vaccination schedule recommended by the WHO and CDC for children under 2 years of age. Supplemental doses are recommended for children 2 to 5 years of age who are at high risk for pneumococcal disease, including children with chronic heart or lung disease or cancer.

Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23). Older children and adults who need protection against pneumococcal bacteria can receive this vaccine. The CDC recommends the PPSV23 vaccine for all adults over age 65. For young adults and children 2 years of age and older who have a weakened immune system or chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, or sickle cell anemia; And for someone who doesn’t have a spleen.

Meningococcal conjugate vaccine. The CDC recommends giving one dose to children ages 11 to 12, with a booster shot at age 16. The shot is given at age 16 or older, no booster is necessary.

The vaccine can also be given to children 2 months to 10 years of age who are at high risk for bacterial meningitis or who have been exposed to someone with the disease. It is also used to vaccinate healthy but previously unvaccinated people who have been exposed to an outbreak.

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