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 manifests as an inflammation of the meninges, the delicate membranes covering the brain and the spinal cord. This disease occurs when there is an infection in the fluid surrounding these membranes.
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
- Mumps virus
- Herpes simplex virus
- Drug reactions
The presentation of meningitis can vary greatly ranging from:
- Cold and flu
- Stiff neck
- Sensitivity to light
- Cognitive impairment
- Skin rash
- Low appetite
With so many different symptoms, and extreme variability between individuals, this inflammation can often reach life-threatening levels before it is properly diagnosed and treatment is begun.