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What is Meningitis?

Meningitis is an inflammation of the covering of the brain and spinal cord. Viruses, parasites, fungi, and
bacteria are the main causes of meningitis. Most people with viral meningitis recover fully and there is usually no need for the use of antibiotics. Parasitic and fungal meningitis are very rare. Bacterial meningitis is very serious. If diagnosed early and treated promptly, the majority of people make a complete recovery. In a few cases it can be fatal, or a person may be left with a permanent disability.
 
How is Bacterial Meningitis spread?

Germs are spread when people exchange saliva (such as kissing, sharing drinking containers, utensils, or cigarettes). The people most at risk are college freshmen who live in dormitories. Vaccines are recommended for young children, college freshmen and adults over age 64.
 
For More Information:

• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - www.cdc.gov
• Texas Department of State Health Services - http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/idcu/disease/meningitis/

Symptoms of Meningitis:

Children (over 1 year old) and adults with meningitis may have:

• Severe headache
• High temperature
• Vomiting
• Sensitivity to bright lights
• Neck stiffness, joint pains
• Drowsiness or confusion
• The illness may develop over one or two days, but it can also rapidly progress in a matter of hours.

Not everyone with meningitis will have the same symptoms. In both children and adults, there may be a rash of tiny, red-purple spots or bruises caused by bleeding under the skin.

 
 
 
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