‘What is Meningitis? Meningitis is an infection of the tissues covering the brain and spinal cord (meninges). Viral meningitis is an infection caused by viruses and bacterial meningitis is an infection caused by bacteria.

Viral meningitis is usually less serious and goes away without treatment. Many different viruses can cause viral meningitis. Most of the viruses are common during the summer and fall months.

Bacterial meningitis is extremely serious. Brain damage, hearing loss or learning disability may happen after having bacterial meningitis. It is important to know what bacteria are causing bacterial meningitis so that the correct medicine can be used to prevent others from getting sick. The earlier the medicine is given the more successful it is. Streptococcus pneumonia and Neisseria meningitidis are two kinds of bacteria that cause bacterial meningitis. Haemophilus influenzae type b bacteria mostly attacks the very young but with the vaccination program in infants, meningitis in children happens less frequently.

Many of the viruses that cause viral meningitis can be spread through saliva or stool. Bacteria that cause bacterial meningitis can spread person-to-person through contact with fluids from the mouth or nose of a sick person. Most people already have natural protection against many of these germs.”.

John Hopkins Medicine


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