Bacterial Meningitis Q & A by an ER Center in Longview

Neck stiffness is a common symptom of bacterial meningitis.

You’ve heard that meningitis can be a scary thing, and you know it has something to do with the brain and spinal cord, but what is it exactly? Meningitis is an inflammation of the tissues (meninges) that surround the brain and spinal cord. Although it isn’t as common as other illnesses like the flu or cancer, meningitis is both serious and contagious, so it needs to be treated immediately. If you have symptoms of meningitis, our ER center in Longview urges you to be seen at your local ER as soon as possible. 

5 Meningitis Questions Answered by ER Center in Longview

Who Can Catch Bacterial Meningitis?

Although people of any age are susceptible to bacterial meningitis, babies and young children are at an increased risk because they have less developed immune systems than older age groups. College students are also at an increased risk because of living in close quarters. So if you have children dorming in college, tell them to never hesitate to see a doctor when they experience any unusual symptoms.

How Do You Get Meningitis?

Different types of bacteria cause meningitis including Streptococcus pneumoniae, Group B Streptococcus, Neisseria meningitidis, Haemophilus influenzae, and Listeria monocytogenes spread. Some bacteria are more prevalent in certain age groups than others. For instance, group B Streptococcus is more common in newborns, babies, and children. Bacteria is spread when an infected person’s throat secretions are passed through coughing, sneezing, or kissing. You can also get meningitis from consuming foods, like cold cuts and soft cheeses contaminated by Listeria.

Why Is Bacterial Meningitis Serious?

Viral meningitis is the most common type of meningitis but it’s typically not as serious as bacterial meningitis. If left untreated, bacterial meningitis can lead to paralysis, stroke, seizures, sepsis, and even death.

What are the Symptoms of Bacterial Meningitis?

Bacterial meningitis can can come on quickly or over several days (3 to 7 days after exposure).

Common symptoms with fever include:

  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Increased light sensitivity 
  • Confusion

Symptoms may be hard to tell in babies but may include lethargy, lack of appetite, and neck stiffness.

Visit our ER center in Longview for minor to major medical emergencies. For more interesting healthcare blogs, like Hospitality Health ER Longview’s Facebook page or check out our blog site.