Follow us


What is bacterial meningitis and how can it be treated?

Woman in bed fever

Bacterial meningitis: what it is, what are the main causes and symptoms and how it can be treated.

Not all meningitis is created equal. When we refer to bacterial meningitis, we are talking about a serious and life-threatening infection of the lining that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. Although it is less common than viral meningitis, it can still cause serious complications, up to and including death. Understanding the causes and learning to recognize the symptoms can therefore become important in order to save one's life and that of the people we love. Here is everything you need to know and know about this disease.

Causes and symptoms of bacterial meningitis

Bacterial meningitis is caused by different types of bacteria , such as Streptococcus pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus and Listeria monocytogenes. These bacteria are usually spread from person to person through sneezing or coughing , as well as through contact with an infected person's saliva or mucus. They can also be spread through contaminated food or water sources, although this is less common. Young children are especially vulnerable as their immune systems are not fully developed yet, making them more likely to get these infections when exposed to bacteria in their environment.

Woman in bed fever
Woman in bed fever

But how to recognize bacterial meningitis? Symptoms often appear within a few hours, although in some cases it can take several days before they appear. We go from fever that exceeds 38 degrees to severe headaches that do not disappear even after taking common painkillers, such as ibuprofen or paracetamol. However, neck stiffness, sensitivity to light, drowsiness, confusion, vomiting, lack of energy or irritability can also be symptoms of this disease.

Treatment, cure and vaccine

Early treatment with antibiotics is essential for recovery, so it's important to seek medical help quickly should you develop symptoms related to bacterial meningitis. Even before treating it, this meningitis can however be prevented through a vaccine , available in various countries of the world. They are generally recommended for infants and children up to 5 years of age, however they may also be given in special cases to adolescents or adults who have not already been vaccinated against each type of bacteria discussed above. Although existing vaccinations provide good protection against some strains of bacterial meningitis, it is important to note that none provide 100% immunity from all forms of bacterial meningitis: there will always be "non-vaccine serogroups" that remain vulnerable among populations of species.

However, as researchers identify new potential causes, more advances can be expected in the years to come when it comes to protecting both individuals and public health systems from unusual forms of emerging diseases such as certain types of meningitis.

Riproduzione riservata © - WT