What is Meningitis?


It is an inflammation of the membranes that cover and protect the central nervous system - the meninges. Meningitis can be viral, acquired after a cold or other illness caused by viruses, or bacterial origin, usually milder.There are several bacteria that can cause meningitis. A contagious form of the disease is caused by meningococcal disease that transmits through the air. Another way of infection is contact with the saliva of a patient.The bacterium enters the body through the nose and lodges itself inside the throat. Then go to the bloodstream

It can occur two ways: brain or spread in the body (bacteremia), causing a generalized infection known as sepsis.

1. Dura - Mater
Outermost layer, which in most cases is not affected by meningitis.

2. Arachnoid
Intermediate layer whose name comes from the thin bars that resemble a spider’s web.

3. Pia - Mater
Inner layer, which adheres to the brain and evaluate his relief

Symptoms of meningitis

In infants up to one month:

irritability, excessive crying, fever, drowsiness and fontanel is bulging as if he had a bump on the head of the child;

above this age:

the child still has difficulty moving the head;

from five years:

fever, stiff neck, headache and vomiting in a jet.


The meninges are the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. Meningitis are infections that affect these membranes. Several etiological agents: bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites.

What happens: When the meninges are attacked by a microorganism support the body reacts with leukocytes (immune cells) to the region of the meninges, there the reaction between the defense cells and the infectious agent causes an inflammatory reaction.

This inflammatory reaction is characteristic by increasing the number of leukocytes and formation of antibodies against those agents. It is demonstrated by CSF cefalorraquidermo we get through the function back.

How is the CSF: The number of leukocytes increases, the defense reaction increases the concentration of proteins and decrease glucose (sugar consumed by the cells). We can see by the causative agents bacterioscopy. And there is the possibility of capturing the antibodies through a number of specific reactions (Pandy, and imunoeletroporese reaction against bacterial antigens) including the possibility of an etiological diagnosis.

What are the symptoms: high fever, persistent headache, vomiting, neck stiffness in a jet are the main symptoms in children over one year old. In children under one year and the fontanel open, Aboul this is a good sign.

In newborns suspected diagnosis becomes more difficult, in general, angry cries, hypoactivity, hypo-or hyperthermia and grunting should draw attention to a possible diagnosis.

The suspected diagnosis should be made as early as possible and the low back function must be so indicated.

As important as the diagnosis of meningitis (disease), have knowledge of the agent etymological (Homophlus influenzae meningitidis Naess, Esteptococos pneumoniae among others) is very important because through his meeting we can determine the appropriate antibiotic, treatment time (ranging from ten to twenty-one days) and the possibility of evolution with complications or not, and so be one step ahead of the disease.

The certainty that the causative agent is given by CSF culture, which although long is positive on average 50% of cases in Brazil.

So it is very important not to start using an antibiotic (through self-medication) or without diagnostic certainty as indicated by a person qualified as only delays the diagnosis of meningitis and impossible knowledge of the etiologic agent.

Despite significant improvements in diagnosis (earlier today) and treatment (low resistance of microorganisms to antibiotics used), meningitis still remains as one of the most worrisome diseases in our country, because it is well known that the phrase “When does not kill cripples. ” This is still true in part because the consequences still occur, and range from mild learning disabilities to cerebral palsy, through various forms of physical and mental defects, including partial or complete deafness.

In conclusion: Meningitis, an important disease in our country, currently has rapid diagnosis and effective treatment. Since there early in the investigation and this is not delayed by inappropriate use of antibiotics.

Related Posts

Post a Comment