Meningitis refers to an infection that causes swelling of the membranes (meninges), that protect your brain, spinal cord and brain. This infection can cause severe, long-lasting health problems such as hearing loss and nerve damage.
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There are many types of meningitis. The most common type of meningitis is viral and it often resolves itself. Bacterial meningitis, the most serious, is the most common. This requires immediate hospitalization, followed by a course IV antibiotics for several weeks.
To reduce your risk of severe health consequences, such as sepsis and death, it is important that you seek immediate treatment if you suspect meningitis.
They are not needed by anyone.
Injectable antibiotics are required for anyone suffering from bacterial meningitis. There are many types of bacterial infections that antibiotics can treat. These drugs kill bacteria or prevent them from growing in your system.
According to the CDC key signs of bacterial meningitis for adults are:
- Stiff neck
- nausea and vomiting
- Sensitivity to light
- Confusion and disorientation mental state
Other symptoms may also be present in infants and young babies:
- Not eating enough
- A bulging fontanel (or “soft spot”) on a baby’s head
- Slow or irregular reflexes
While you wait for confirmation of the type and severity of your infection, your doctor may recommend preemptive antibiotic therapy. There are many tests that can be used in diagnosing bacterial meningitis.
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- Spinal tap (lumbar puncture)
- CT scan
- Blood and urine tests
- Take a swab of the nose and throat.
A lumbar puncture can be one of the most effective ways to identify the type of bacteria that is causing your meningitis infection. This test requires a sample from your cerebrospinal fluid, or CSF.
Meningitis can be caused by many bacteria types. Your specific disease, age, and any other health factors will all play a role in the treatment.
Different types of antibiotics
Even a delay of just a few hours in the treatment of bacterial meningitis can increase the risk of death.
Both children and adults can get bacterial meningitis treated with antibiotics. To prevent the spread of the disease, those who have been exposed to bacterial meningitis can also be prescribed antibiotics.
Based on the new information about your infection, doctors may change your treatment plan.
Antibiotics for adults
Although there is overlap in the use of antibiotics for adults and children, some are meant only to be used for adults. This is because antibiotics can cause serious infections and be very hard on the body.
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Ceftriaxone and cefotaxime are the first lines of treatment for bacterial Meningitis if you’re over 18 years old.
The following antibiotics are also used in the second stage:
- penicillin G
If you are not satisfied with the dosage of antibiotics, your doctor might adjust it.
- Are you pregnant?
- A weak immune system
- Pre-existing conditions
- Are you allergic to certain medications?
- Other medications may be taken
A course of antibiotic treatment to treat bacterial meningitis can last anywhere from a few days up to several years, depending on what type of bacteria is causing the infection.
Children and infants are particularly at risk of bacterial meningitis. They are more susceptible to infection because their immune systems are less developed. Their age will determine the type of treatment they receive. Usually, it lasts from 1 to 3 weeks.
Newborns under 2 months may receive:
For children over 2 years old, you may be eligible for:
- Understanding Hib
Invasive Hib disease, which was the most common cause of bacterial meningitis among children, was prevalent before the introduction of a vaccine in the 1980s. The infection rate has fallen by more than 99 per cent since the introduction of the vaccine.
The bacteria Haemophilus Influenzae can cause Hib, as well as blood infections and ear infections.
There are many brands that offer Hib vaccine. It is usually given to newborns in multiple doses and a booster starting at 2 months.