Meningitis Cure in Toddlers – Know Types, Sign & Symptoms, Causes of Spread, Diagnosis and Treatment
Created by Dr Shipra Mathur Updated on Jul 11, 2018
Meningitis can affect anyone but is much more common in young children as their immune system is not very well developed. Most of us know it to be something serious but what actually happens in it? What causes it and how can we protect our children ?
Hopefully this will answer some questions so that you are better informed to help your child with timely treatment.
- Meningitis occurs when the membrane covering the brain and the spinal cord, called the meninges, becomes infected and swollen or inflamed
- Meningitis is not common, but it can be very serious and requires urgent medical attention.
Meningitis Cause and How It Spread
- Meningitis is usually caused by either bacterial or viral infections. It can also be a complication of infections like chicken pox and measles.
- Viral meningitis is more common and is less serious than bacterial meningitis. Bacterial meningitis can get worse very quickly. It can be life threatening, and can lead to serious disabilities, such as deafness and brain damage.
- The bacteria or virus causing meningitis spread by close contact with an infected person, from their coughing/sneezing and poor hygiene.
- Many people carry these bacteria in their noses and throats without getting sick. These healthy carriers can spread the bug to others who may become sick
Meningitis Signs and Symptoms
Early symptoms may be nonspecific and sometimes common with other illnesses like flu. Most of the symptoms associated with meningitis only appear when the disease is already advanced. By then, the children look quite sick. The symptoms include-
- seizures (fits)
- irritability and high-pitched cry or moaning
- extreme tiredness, drowsiness (lethargy) or hard to wake
- a stiff neck
- dislike of bright lights (photophobia)
- back arching
- A deep purple pinpoint rash with fever indicates a specific type of bacteria
If you are worried that your child may be showing signs of meningitis, you must take them to the nearest doctor/hospital Emergency immediately.
How to Diagnose Meningitis
To diagnose meningitis, your child will need a lumbar puncture. This is a safe test in which a needle is inserted in the back to take a sample of the fluid from around the spine. A diagnosis of meningitis is made by examining this fluid and doing blood tests.
Treatment is depends upon the suspected cause of meningitis which are as given below..
Most children will make a full recovery after meningitis, though it can take time.
Regular follow up is needed to monitor recovery and a hearing test is often done as it may be affected in some infections. A severe infection may leave motor/learning disability.
Meningitis Prevention Tips
Viral Meningitis- Generally, viral meningitis is not as severe as bacterial meningitis. The treatment does not include antibiotics because antibiotics do not work on viruses but observation and supportive treatment will be required. Rarely, it may cause inflammation of the brain also called encephalitis for which anti viral therapy will be needed.
Bacterial Meningitis- Bacterial meningitis can be more severe and requires intravenous antibiotics and fluids. Steroids may also be given to reduce brain swelling.
- Several of the bacteria that cause meningitis like pneumococcus and HIB can be prevented by the routine childhood immunisations. Making sure that your child is fully up to date with these immunization is the best way to prevent meningitis.
- Good hygiene practices like hand washing reduce the chance of getting viruses or bacterial infections or passing them onto others.
| Jul 11, 2018
emperpor kl ks
| Jul 11, 2018
thank u so much for the information. I got this very helpful at the very right time.
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