Meningitis

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LogoWarningBox4.pngNotification. Meningitis, and meningococcal disease without meningitis, are notifiable diseases. ALL cases (meningococcal disease or meningitis of any aetiology) should be notified ON SUSPICION, not just confirmed or probable cases.

Meningitis means inflammation of the meninges – the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. It tends to be synonymous with the serious and life threatening bacterial meningitis.

LogoWarningBox4.pngDon't forget septicaemia. Some of the organisms that can cause meningitis - particularly the meningococcus and pneumococcus - can also cause septicaemia. Septicaemia is more serious than meningitis.

Meningitis means inflammation of the meninges – the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. It tends to be synonymous with the serious and life threatening bacterial meningitis.

The inflammation of membrane explains the classic symptoms of meningitis, which include:

  • Headache
  • Neck stiffness
  • Pain on stretching the sciatic nerve
  • Dislike of bright lights (photophobia)
  • Irritability

Meningitis can be caused by a variety of organisms, including bacteria and viruses. Viral meningitis is usually a benign self limiting illness and quite different to the potentially rapidly fatal and fulminant Bacterial meningitis. The features of meningitis vary in different settings. Neonates for example are vulnerable to a different set of organisms that affect older children and adults. Public awareness and meningitis prevention are very important.

See also

External links

There are links to the meningitis charities here.

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