Spinal Meningitis Essay

852 Words Feb 24th, 2005 4 Pages
Meningitis is an infection of the fluid of a person's spinal cord and fluid that surrounds a person's brain. It is sometimes referred to as Spinal Meningitis. It's usually caused by either a bacterial or viral infection. As you read through this paper you will learn how Meningitis is transmitted, its symptoms, its effects, and even the incidences it has caused. The common symptoms of anyone over two years old is high fever, headache, and stiff neck. Symptoms can develop over several hours or even one to two days. Other symptoms include vomiting, nausea, confusion, sleepiness, and discomfort looking at bright lights. As for newborns and small infants, the classical symptoms may be difficult to detect or absent. They may only …show more content…
(CDC, 2004) In 1887, the causative agent Neisseria Meningitidis, the meningococcus, was identified. Because of its potential to cause epidemics, Neisseria Meningitidis is one of the most important types. In 1805, when Meningococcal disease was first described, an outbreak swept through Geneva, Switzerland. Twelve subtypes of Neisseria Meningitidis have been identified. Four of them have been recognized to cause epidemics. Those four are: A, B, C, and W135. The capabilities differ of the pathogenicity, immunogenicity, and epidemic according to the serogroup. Thus it is crucial to the identification of the serogroup responsible for epidemic containment. (WHO, 2004) The diagnosis of meningococcal meningitis is suspected by the clinical presentation and a lumbar puncture showing a purulent spinal fluid. Sometimes the bacteria can be seen in the spinal fluid by microscopic examination. Identification of the serogroups as well as testing for susceptibility to antibiotics require more specialized laboratory tests. By growing the bacteria from specimens of spinal fluid or blood, the diagnosis can be confirmed. (WHO, 2004) Meningitis occurs sporadically in small clusters throughout the world with seasonal variations and accounts for a variable proportion of endemic meningitis. Serogroups B and C together account for a large majority of cases in Europe and the Americas. In 1992-93, Canada and the U.S. reported several

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