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Meningitis

 
 
     
 
 

 
 
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Keywords

Meningitis, Meningococcal Disease, N. meningitides, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae , H.influenzae type b, Hib, CSF, cerebro spinal fluid, spinal meningitis, epidemic, infectious disease.

Overview *

Meningitis is inflammation of the thin tissue that surrounds the brain and spinal cord, called the meninges. There are several types of meningitis. The most common is viral meningitis, which you get when a virus enters the body through the nose or mouth and travels to the brain. Bacterial meningitis is rare, but can be deadly. It usually starts with bacteria that cause a cold-like infection. It can block blood vessels in the brain and lead to stroke and brain damage. It can also harm other organs.

Anyone can get meningitis, but it is more common in people whose bodies have trouble fighting infections. Meningitis can progress rapidly. You should seek medical care quickly if you have:
- A sudden fever
- A severe headache
- A stiff neck

Early treatment can help prevent serious problems, including death. Vaccines can prevent some of the bacterial infections that cause meningitis. Parents of adolescents and students living in college dorms should talk to a doctor about the vaccination.

 
 

In-Depth

Introduction | Meningitis
Causes | Symptoms
Diagnosis | Treatment
Complications | Spreading Infection
Vaccination

 
 

Multimedia

This patient education program explains what causes meningitis, how it can be diagnosed, treated, and prevented.

This button allows you to read and print an illustrated handout This button starts a multimedia program with interactive questions

This button allows you to read and print an illustrated handout

This button starts a multimedia program with interactive questions

This button allows you to read and print an illustrated handout.

This button starts a multimedia program with interactive questions.

   
This button starts an interactive quiz This button plays a self-running presentation

This button starts an interactive quiz

This button plays a self-running presentation

This button starts an interactive quiz.


This button plays a self-running presentation.


Last reviewed: 3/11/2008

 
     
 

.Selected topic overviews were adapted from Medlineplus, the National Library of Medicine *

 
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