What is meningitis? It’s an inflammation of the meninges, the membranes that line the brain and the spine. (In some cases meningitis is called spinal meningitis.) Meningitis is normally triggered either by a virus (aseptic meningitis) or by bacteria that take a trip through the bloodstream from an infection in another part of the body. A fungal infection can also cause meningitis, but this is much less typical.
What Are the Symptoms of Meningitis in Children?
That’s the difficult part, due to the fact that the symptoms of meningitis aren’t constantly the exact same for everybody, and they don’t appear in any particular order. A high fever, stiff neck, and severe headache are the trademark signs.
Other signs of meningitis include:
- sensitivity to light
- vomiting or queasiness
- no interest in eating or drinking
- skin rash
If your baby has meningitis, you may see some of these symptoms. Others, such as headache and confusion, are difficult to decipher in a baby. Your baby might likewise be weeping continuously and have a bulging fontanel (soft spot on his head). While it may be hard to tell if his neck is stiff, he may end up being more upset when you pick him up, and you might discover stiffness in his body, too.
If you have any inkling that your child may have meningitis, call his doctor immediately. Early treatment is essential.
Types of Meningitis
Meningitis that affects babies up to 2 or 3 months old is called neonatal meningitis. Whether viral or bacterial, it can be really severe, and any hold-up in treatment could put your baby at risk for deafness, intellectual impairment, and death.
In older babies and children, viral meningitis– which is more typical than bacterial meningitis– is usually milder and usually goes away by itself within 10 days. Numerous infections that cause meningitis in children are from the group referred to as enteroviruses– for example, coxsackie, the virus behind hand, foot, and mouth disease, is an enterovirus that can result in meningitis. Other viral infections, such as mumps, herpes simplex infections (accountable for cold sores), and influenza can likewise cause meningitis.
Bacterial meningitis, on the other hand, comes on fast and is very severe. The majority of children with bacterial meningitis recover with no long-lasting complications, but bacterial meningitis can cause deafness, blindness, developmental delays, speech loss, muscle problems, kidney and adrenal gland failure, seizures, as well as death.
Many different types of bacteria can cause bacterial meningitis. In newborns, the most common causes are Group B streptococcus, Escherichia coli, and less frequently, Listeria monocytogenes. In older kids, Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) and Neisseria meningitidis (meningococcus) are more frequently the causes.
If My Child Has a Fever, What Are the Opportunities She Has Meningitis?
Slim, but if you suspect it might be meningitis, have her doctor check it out right now. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Avoidance (CDC) estimates that about 1,000 adults and children in the United States come down with meningitis each year. Babies and teenagers age 16 through 21 have the greatest incidence, however anyone can get it.