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					 Meningitis

 Created By: VSU Student
Health Center Nursing Staff
         What is Meningitis?

 Infection of the fluid in the spinal cord and
  the fluid that surrounds the brain
 Viral or Bacterial
 Etiology is important because of the
  seriousness of the illness and the treatment
  needed
            Viral Meningitis
 Usually clears up in a week or two with no
  specific treatment
 Common; rarely serious infection of fluid
  in the spinal cord or fluid that surrounds
  the brain
 Also called aseptic meningitis
     Causes of Viral Meningitis
   Caused by a number of different viruses
    mosquito-borne viruses
    occasionally seen after strep throat in young
     adults
    common intestinal viruses account for half of
     U.S. cases per year
         Signs and Symptoms
   Usually occur one week after exposure
    Fever
    Headache
    Stiff neck
    Tiredness
    Rash
    Sore Throat
    Vomiting
    Treatment and Prevention
 No specific treatment for viral meningitis
 Antibiotics do not work on viruses
 Pay careful attention to personal hygiene
 Good hand-washing helps prevent spread
  of infection and viruses
         Bacterial Meningitis
 A serious infection of the fluid of the
  spinal cord and the fluid that surrounds the
  brain
 Results from bacterial invasion of
  membrane that covers the brain and spinal
  cord (meninges)
 Meninges become swollen and inflamed,
  leading to classic s/s of meningitis
Causes of Bacterial Meningitis
   Three common bacteria:
    Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib)
    Neisseria meningitidis
        Causes   Meningococcal Meningitis
    Streptococcus pneumoniae
        Causes   Pneumococcal Meningitis
    How do people get Bacterial
           Meningitis?
 Bacteria are spread through direct contact
  with secretions from the nose or throat of
  an infected person
 None of the bacteria that cause meningitis
  are very contagious
 Not spread by casual contact or by simply
  breathing the same air where the person
  infected has been
           Signs and Symptoms
          Under Age 2                       Over age 2
   Fever                           High fever
   Headache                        Headache
   Stiff neck                      Stiff neck
   Inactivity                      Nausea and vomiting
   Vomiting                        Sensitivity to light
   Poor feeding                    Confusion
   Seizures                        Sleepiness
     May be hard to detect in      Petechiae that spreads
      infants                        rapidly
                                    seizures
      Diagnosis & Treatment
 Diagnosed via lumbar puncture (spinal tap)
 Check for bacterial growth in the spinal
  fluid
 Antibiotic administration based on bacteria
  found
 Close contacts identified and treated also
 Early diagnosis and treatment important
     Potential Complications
 Advanced bacterial meningitis can lead to
  brain damage, coma, and death
 Survivors can suffer long-term hearing
  loss, mental retardation, paralysis, and
  seizures
                 Vaccinations
   Hib vaccine (3 doses       Pneumococcal
    by 6 months of age          vaccine ineffective in
    and a booster               persons under age 2
    between 12-18               Recommended for all
    months of age)               persons over age 65
   Meningococcal                with certain medical
    vaccine not routinely        problems
    given to civilians in
    U.S. because most
    outbreaks occur in
    Africa
         Travel Precautions
 Check with your local health department if
  you are planning to travel outside the
  country.
 If meningococcal vaccination is
  recommended or required, it should be
  received at least one week before departure
  if possible.
Source
 American College Health Association,
  Baltimore, MD (2007)
  www.acha.org/meningitis
 Centers for Disease Control and
  Prevention (2007).
  www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/m
  eningococcal_g.htm.

				
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posted:3/8/2011
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