What Is Meningitis?
Meningitis is an infection of the spinal cord fluid. The infection can be caused by bacteria or by a virus. Viral meningitis is easier to treat than bacterial meningitis and the results of contracting bacterial meningitis can be more severe. Effects of bacterial meningitis include brain damage, hearing loss or learning disabilities (most often with children who contract meningitis).
Signs and Symptoms
- The incubation period for meningitis is 10-14 days.
- High fever
- Stiff neck and joints
- Sensitivity to bright lights
- Also, a rash can accompany meningitis. Often it will look like tiny pinpricks and will not turn white when touched. This rash can be a sign of septicemia (blood poisoning).
- Symptoms may vary and you may not have them all at once. If you suspect you have meningitis, seek medical attention immediately.
How Is Meningitis Spread?
Meningitis is most commonly spread through coughing, sneezing and kissing.
How Can You Reduce Your Risk of Contracting Meningitis?
Anyone living in close quarters with others (especially college students) should look into the meningitis vaccination. Menomune is a vaccine that is available through your doctor or through the Cowell Health Center. Call X4501 for more information.
Further information about Viral and Bacterial Meningitis can be found at http://www.vaccess.com/diseaseinfo/Meningitis.htm