Initially, the symptoms of viral and bacterial meningitis may be similar. However, the symptoms of bacterial meningitis are usually more severe. The symptoms also differ according to your age.
Symptoms of viral meningitis
Infants with viral meningitis may develop:
diarrhea, vomiting, rash respiratory symptoms
In adults, viral meningitis can result in the following:
- Seizures with stiff neck and sensitivity to bright light
- vomiting and nausea
- reduced appetite
- altered mental condition
Symptoms of bacterial meningitis
Bacterial meningitis symptoms appear unexpectedly. They could include:
- altered mental condition
- irritability, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light
- stiff neck, purple bruise-like areas of skin
- sleepiness \slethargy
If you experience any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention. Bacterial and viral meningitis are both potentially fatal. There is no way to tell if you have bacterial or viral meningitis simply by how you feel. Your doctor will require tests to determine which type you have.
Symptoms of fungal meningitis
The symptoms of fungal meningitis are similar to those of other types of this infection. These could include:
Nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, stiffness of the neck, fever, headache, a general feeling of being ill, confusion, or disorientation
Symptoms of chronic meningitis
Chronic meningitis is diagnosed when your symptoms last more than four weeks.
Chronic meningitis symptoms are similar to other types of acute meningitis, but they can sometimes develop more slowly.
Rashes associated with meningitis
A faint rash on your skin is one of the later signs that one of the bacterial causes of meningitis, Neisseria meningitides, is in your bloodstream.
The bacteria that cause meningococcal meningitis to reproduce in your blood and target cells near capillariesTrusted Source. Capillary damage and minor blood leaks result from damage to these cells. This manifests as a light pink, red, or purple rash. The spots may look like tiny pinpricks and are easily confused with bruises.
The rash may become more visible as the infection worsens and spreads. The spots will darken and become larger.
People with darker skin may have difficulty detecting a meningitis rash. Lighter skin areas, such as the palms of the hands and the inside of the mouth, may show rash symptoms more easily.
The most common causes of meningitis are viral and bacterial infections. There are several types of meningitis. Cryptococcal, caused by a fungal infection, and carcinomatous, cancer-related, are two examples. These are more uncommon.
Meningitis caused by viruses
The most common type of meningitis is viral meningitis. Enterovirus viruses are responsible for approximately 52% of adult cases and 58% of infant cases. These are more prevalent in the summer and fall and include:
Coxsackievirus Coxsackieviruses A and B echoviruses
Enterovirus viruses cause 10 to 15 million infections each year.
Trusted Source per year, but only a small proportion of those infected develop meningitis.
Other viruses can also cause meningitis. These are some examples:
West Nile virus, influenza, and measles
HIV, measles, and herpes viruses
The coltivirus causes Colorado tick fever.
Viral meningitis usually resolves on its own. However, some causes must be addressed.
Meningitis caused by bacteria
Bacterial meningitis is contagious and is caused by bacterial infection. If left untreated, it can be fatal. One in every ten people who get bacterial meningitis dies, and one in every five has serious complications. Even with proper treatment, this is possible.
The following bacteria are the most common causes of bacterial meningitis:
Streptococcus pneumonia is a bacteria commonly found in the respiratory tract, sinuses, and nasal cavity and can cause “pneumococcal meningitis.”
Neisseria meningitides is a bacteria that spreads through saliva and other respiratory fluids and cause “meningococcal meningitis.”
Listeria monocytogenes are bacteria found in food.
Staphylococcus aureus, which causes “staphylococcal meningitis,” is commonly found on the skin and in the nasal passages.
Meningitis caused by fungus
Fungal meningitis is a relatively uncommon type of meningitis. It is caused by a fungus that infects your body and then spreads to your brain or spinal cord via your bloodstream.
Fungal meningitis is more likely in people who have a weakened immune system. This includes people who have cancer or HIV.
The following are the most common fungi associated with fungal meningitis:
Cryptococcus is inhaled from dirt or soil contaminated with bird droppings, particularly those of pigeons and chickens or rotting vegetation.
Another fungus found in soil, particularly in the Midwestern United States, is Blastomyces.
Histoplasma is found in environments heavily contaminated with bat and bird droppings, particularly in the Midwest near the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.
Coccidioides are found in soil in certain areas of the United States Southwest, as well as South and Central America.
Meningitis caused by parasites
This type of meningitis is less common than viral or bacterial meningitis and is caused by parasites found in dirt, feces, and on certain animals and foods, such as snails, raw fish, poultry, or produce.
One form of parasitic meningitis is more uncommon than others. It’s known as eosinophilic meningitis (EM). Three types of parasites cause EM. These are some examples:
It is not possible to spread parasitic meningitis from person to person. Instead, these parasites infect animals or hide in food that humans consume. Infection may occur if the parasite or parasite eggs are infectious when consumed.
Amebic meningitis, a very rare type of parasitic meningitis, is a potentially fatal infection. This type occurs when an ameba of one of several types enters the body through the nose while swimming in contaminated lakes, rivers, or ponds. The parasite can destroy brain tissue, leading to hallucinations, seizures, and other serious symptoms. The most well-known species is Naegleria fowleri.
Meningitis that isn’t infectious
Non-infectious meningitis does not result from an infection. It is, instead, a type of meningitis caused by another medical condition or treatment. These are some examples:
Lupus is a brain injury, brain surgery cancer specific medications
Meningitis is chronic
Meningitis cases that last more than four weeks are classified as having this condition.
Chronic meningitis can be caused by fungi, rheumatological conditions, and cancer, among other things. Chronic meningitis treatment addresses the underlying cause (i.e., managing rheumatoid arthritis).
What are the possible causes of meningitis?
Each type of meningitis has a slightly different cause. Still, they all have the same effect: A bacterium, fungus, virus, or parasite spreads through the body until it reaches the brain or spinal cord (via the bloodstream, nerve endings, or even a dormant reactivation in the nervous system). It then establishes itself in the lining or fluids surrounding these vital body parts and progresses to a more advanced infection.
A physical injury or another condition causes non-infectious meningitis; an infection does not cause it.
Is there a meningitis vaccine?
There is a vaccine available for several types of bacterial meningitis. One version for which vaccines are available is meningococcal meningitis caused by Neisseria meningitides. While viral meningitis is more common, bacterial meningitis can be more dangerous if not properly diagnosed and treated.
As a result, the two primary meningitis vaccines are for bacterial causes:
The MenACWY vaccine (also known as Menactra, Menveo, and MenQuadfi) is a meningococcal conjugate vaccine that targets four of the most common bacterial serotypes. It lasts longer and provides more protection, especially if you continue to receive booster shots.
The Serogroup B meningococcal vaccine, or MenB, targets a single strain and has a much narrower protection window. This vaccine is only recommended for certain populations.
Meningitis vaccine side effects may include
inflammation, redness, and burning at the injection site
chills and a low-grade fever for a day or two after the injection
joint pain, fatigue headache
These side effects should go away within 3-7 days.
7. Nursing intervention