Traditionally, February is the month that "gives" the most cases of meningitis, mainly in children, as a complication of seasonal infections.
This year, however, with schools closed due to coronavirus- at least in the "red" areas- It seems that the incidence of the disease is lower compared to previous years. It has helped, sure, and vaccination against the worst form of the disease, meningitis B, sufficiently implemented in recent years. Παρ’ όλα αυτά, the risk remains.
Τα αίτια της νόσου
Meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes (meninges) surrounding the brain and spinal cord. The swelling that accompanies meningitis often causes the "trademark" of the symptoms of this condition, which is a combination of headache, fever and stiff neck.
Most cases of meningitis are caused by a viral infection, but bacterial and fungal infections can also lead to it. Depending on the cause of the infection, meningitis can go away on its own in a few weeks, but in some cases it can be life threatening and require urgent antibiotic treatment..
If you suspect you or someone in your family has meningitis, seek professional medical care immediately. Early treatment of bacterial meningitis can prevent serious complications.
How do you know if you or someone else has meningitis?
It is easy to confuse the early signs and symptoms of meningitis with those of seasonal flu. The symptoms of meningitis can develop over several hours or more gradually 1-2 days.
These symptoms can occur in anyone over the age of 2 years include:
- Sudden high fever
- Severe headache that does not look like any other type of headache you have had in the past
- Neck pain and difficulty in neck movements
- Vomiting or nausea with headache
- Confusion or difficulty concentrating
- Epileptic seizures
- Drowsiness or difficulty waking up
- Sensitivity to light
- Decreased appetite
- Skin rash (in some cases, as in meningococcal meningitis)
Symptoms in newborn babies
Newborns and infants may not experience the typical symptoms of headache and neck stiffness.. Instead, Signs of meningitis in this age group may include:
- High fever
- They cry incessantly
- Excessive drowsiness or irritability
- Inaction or sluggishness
- Decreased appetite
- Lump on the soft spot at the top of the head
- Stiffness in the body and neck
When to see a doctor
Seek medical attention immediately if you or someone in your family has signs or symptoms of meningitis, such as:
- Serious, relentless headache (headache)
- Neck stiffness
Viral meningitis can improve without treatment, but bacterial meningitis is severe, It can come on suddenly and requires immediate treatment with antibiotics for faster recovery. Delay in starting treatment for bacterial meningitis increases the risk of permanent brain damage or even death. Bacterial meningitis can be fatal in a few days.
There is no way to know what kind of meningitis you or your child have without being seen by your personal or family doctor and having the necessary tests.