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The Overview of Meningitis and its Treatment
Abd Nasir A I, Omar @ Mohamed F M, Lau T F, Yusof N N, Abdullah M , Soh S Y, Wong Y M, AbdulMajid A M
Meningitis is generally an infection involving theinflammation of the meninges which is becoming anincreasingly common non-infectious disease. Patientswith meningitis must be given treatment within a rapidperiod of time as delay in treatment causes variousserious complications. Studies have shown thatmeningitis has a high mortality rate in most countriesand therefore, in our research paper, we aim todiscover and explore more about the causative agentsof meningitis, both classic signs and uncommonsymptoms of meningitis, ways to diagnose infection ofmeningitis, risk factors for meningitis and also thetherapies available to combat meningitis. In order toachieve the objectives above, we took severalapproaches to gain answers and explanations to ourquestions. First of all, we derived many research journals from the internet that were related to the fieldof our study. We analyzed the findings of thesemedical journals and focused on the selected topicswe were assigned to. Also, we searched for relatedinformation from other published medical books. Uponcompletion of all the procedures, we found thatmeningitis could be classified into several groupsbased on their causative microorganisms. We alsodiscovered that the empiric therapy for most meningitiscases were mostly third generation antibiotics as theycould penetrate the CSF. Lumbar puncture may alsobe conducted to discover the causative agent ofmeningitis in a patient. Also, there were many drugsin the market available for the treatment of meningitis.This discovery enables us to determine the drugs forempirical therapy of meningitis and the specific drugsused after the causative agent of meningitis has beenidentified. In conclusion, this research study hasincreased our understanding of meningitis.
Meningitis is a life- threatening infection of the brain,especially on the protective membranes that cover thebrain and spinal cord. These membranes are knownas the meninges. They consist of 3 connective tissuelayers which are the pia meter, the arachnoid and thedura mater. In the brain, three of them cooperate tosupport the blood vessels and contain thecerebrospinal fluid. The brain may be infected by bacteria, fungus or viruswhich will cause the inflammation of the meninges.Patients need to receive the treatment within a veryshort time because it is can be lethal.Meningitis can be classified further into three maingroups based on the causative agents --bacterialmeningitis, nonbacterial meningitis, and viralmeningitis. Bacterial meningitis is usually caused byPneumococcal species, Haemophilus influenzae,Staphylococcal species, and meningococcal species.For nonbacterial meningitis, it is related to fungal andparasites that is frequently linked to etiologic agentslike Cyptococcal species and Histoplasma species. Inthe aspect of viral meningitis, it can be Enterovirusmeningitis or Herpes simplex virus meningitis. The bacteria causing meningitis is transmitted throughwater droplets from person to person. These can bepromoted through intimate and prolonged contact, forinstance, kissing, sneezing or coughing on anotherperson and staying very close to the infected person.The incidence rate of meningitis in developingcountries such as Africa and India is higher than thatin the developed countries by ten times since theaccess to preventive measures of the disease is stillnot well developed. Every year, there will be 8000cases of meningitis and a total number of 2000 deathsoccur that mark this disease as high morbidity andmortality. Between 1998 and 2003, there is a declinein the cases from 1.9 to 1.5 per 100,000 for the overallincidence of bacterial meningitis. The decrease in thefigure was partly contributed by the promoted use ofthe vaccination especially in many developedcountries. In 1986, the median age for persons havinginfected by bacterial meningitis was 15 months, whilein 1998, the median age has been changed to 25years. This reveals that the disease has a higherfrequency in adults than in children even thoughpatients younger than 5 years old are at high risk toget the disease. For the adults, the incidences ofbacterial meningitis are 1.7 to 7.2 cases per 100,000every year and the mean annual incidence is 3.8cases per 100,000. There is a famous meningitis outbreak which is relatedto the meningococcal meningitis at the meningitis belt.The meningitis belt is an area of sub- Saharan Africacharacterized by the dust winds and cold nights. Sincemeningococcal meningitis has seasonal variation, the
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