Meningitis: Causes & Symptoms

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated -

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One of the most feared illnesses in the modern world is meningitis, not because its symptoms or side effects are terrible and deadly but also that the varied symptoms make this disease a chameleon of sorts.

What is Meningitis?

Meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges, which are the delicate membranes covering the brain and the spinal cord. It occurs when there is an infection in the fluid surrounding these membranes.

Causes

The primary cause of meningitis is a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection, but they can include the following:

  • Meningococcal bacteria
  • Pneumococcal bacteria
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b (HIB) bacteria
  • Enteroviruses
  • Mumps virus
  • Herpes simplex virus
  • Cancer
  • Drug reactions

3D medical illustration of a human skull suffering from meningitis

Symptoms

The presentation of meningitis can vary greatly ranging from:

With so many symptoms, and extreme variability between individuals, this inflammation can often reach life-threatening levels before it is properly diagnosed and treatment is begun.

To raise awareness, various campaigns like World Meningitis Day by the Confederation of Meningitis Organisations are designed. It is observed on the 24th April each year with an aim to shed light on all the factors related to this disease.

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About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve, Co-Founder, Organic Facts is a health and wellness enthusiast and is responsible for managing it. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University, US. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. An ardent follower of naturopathy, she believes in healing with foods. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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