Travel Health

From: Travel Health Information and Advice

Meningitis is a very serious condition that is caused when the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord become inflamed. Left untreated meningitis can have serious long term consequences and in some cases can even be fatal.

Cause Of Meningitis
Meningitis can be caused by a number of factors such as:

Symptoms of Meningitis
If meningitis is suspected immediate medical attention should be sought. Symptoms can include:

Complications that can occur can lead to:

Preventing Meningitis
Although not all infections can be vaccinated against the risk of meningitis will be considerably lowered by following a vaccination programme, such as those against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), chicken pox and haemophilus influenzae type b virus (Hib). Prompt treatment is also essential to aid a speedy recovery and help prevent long term damage.

Diagnosing Meningitis
Diagnosis of meningitis is achieved through blood testing and via a lumbar puncture so that the cerebrospinal fluid can be analyzed.

Treatment for Meningitis
Meningitis requires immediate medical attention as it can prove fatal if left untreated. Treatment often involves the use of antibiotics to treat the infection and medication to reduce the inflammation of the meninges along with treatment and subsequent care of the patients individuals symptoms.

Most At Risk From Meningitis
Babies and children under the age of 5 are particularly at risk.