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Bacterial Meningitis


A Contagious Disease: Bacterial Meningitis Kelly College

Fundamentals 1 John s, RN BSN 2/23/09

Bacterial Meningitis A Contagious Disease: Bacterial Meningitis 2 Sometimes referred to as “spinal Meningitis”. A person who may be in regular contact with someone suffering from meningitis is at an increased risk. While viral meningitis can be cured for easily and with less side effects and permanent damage. This disease could also be caused by a viral infection. Knowing if a case could be classified as bacterial is important also. bacterial meningitis can prove much more debilitating with side effects such as learning disability. People who have compromised immune systems due to diseases such as HIV are also at risk. anyone more likely to get sick is at more at risk to get Meningitis. now that has been overcome by more common cases if Streptococcus pneumoniae and Neisseria meningitides. deafness and brain damage. (National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases: Division of Bacterial Disease. those were the two leading causes of Bacterial Meningitis.2008) . and so have the treatments. Over the past 30 years the bacteria responsible for the disease have changed.2008) Because the cause of this disease is a bacterium. Bacterial Meningitis is an infection of the fluid surrounding a person's spinal cord and also around the brain. Living in close quarters to someone such as in college dormitories or military housing. The infecting bacteria first cause an upper respiratory tract infection. (National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases: Division of Bacterial Disease. because antibiotics can help prevent this contagious disease from being spread to others.As of 2008. however the outcomes and severity of the condition is different for the bacterial strain. So therefore. such as infants and the elderly over age 60. there are risk factors that can cause one to be more susceptible to it. 2008) The cause of this disease boils down to a strain of one of the bacterium infecting someone.Haemophilus influenzae “type b” used to be the leading cause of bacterial meningitis. Anyone with a low immune system is at more risk. and then travel to the brain and spinal cord. causing a Respiratory Tract Infection. which going into the bloodstream and later travels to the meninges (which is the soft tissue surrounding the brain and spinal cord) The responsible bacteria has changed over the years.(McCoy. due most likely to changing vaccines.

This requires most patients to remain until tests of their cerebrospinal fluid come back completely clear. If treated quickly and correctly. They help in controlling unnecessary brain pressure and swelling. vomiting and nausea. severe headache. Bacterial Meningitis is rare. This could be done to eliminate the chance that there is something else.Bacterial Meningitis 3 Once someone is infected with the bacterium that causes meningitis. drowsiness. as well as numerous other neurologic disorders. pressure of the optic nerve.The Bacteria travels the bloodstream until it eventually reaches the subarachnoid space. immediate care is crucial. A CT scan is a type of x-ray that allows a look inside the body. More than 90% of all people with bacterialmeningitis survive. rashes. seizures. cardiac arrest. such as a tumor. There are different methods involved in treating meningitis. full-term births and around 2. rapid breathing. Antibiotics may be changed once the specific strain of meningitis is identified. The number rises among infants to 0. These signs differ for infants and may be shrill crying. deafness. Fluids may also be given. On top of the medications given to help with disease other things may be given .000 healthy. 2008) g Diagnosing someone who is believed to have Meningitis will consist of a history. brain damage. Some potential complications of bacterial meningitis include hydrocephalus (water on the brain). several things happen in the body. seizures. Following a definite diagnosis of Bacterial Meningitis. and through an IV. paralysis. similar to an MRI. profuse sweating. Corticosteroids are also given early on. Finally.5 cases per 1.Meningitis can also be passed to a child through the placenta. stiff neck.000 individuals. if there is significant fluid lossAntibiotics may be given through an IV as soon as meningitis is suspected. poor feeding or jaundice (Buckley. confusion. because survival without serious side effects depends on the speed of treatment. seizures.An MRI scan is done to get an image of structures within the body. This causes an infection in the meninges—which is the membranous covering of the brain and spinal cord. kidney failure. Spinal taps can be done to test spinal fluid for the suspected bacteria. Signs and Symptoms may include high fever. nonreactive pupils. Looking for signs and symptoms is important. . and coma. rigors. It is believed to affect 3 to 10 cases out of every 100. a protruding soft spot. Antibiotics and corticosteroids are often given in junction with one another.15 cases per 1.000 premature births. blindness. a CT scan may be done. comas. Matteucci & Pravikoff. questionnaire and some invasive tests.

US military personnel and microbiologists are also suggested to have it. Even though the rate of this disease is rare in the U. There are two vaccines against N. the occurrence can be much higher overseas.Currently. but out in the everyday world. These both can prevent 4 types of meningococcal disease. Cases of the disease should be reported locally so outbreaks can be identified. bacterial is far more damaging the body. which include 2 of the 3 most common strains in the United States. meningitidis. it is then recommended before entering High School. meningitidis that have been approved by the FDA. just like mostdiseases. Bacterial Meningitis is rare-. Meningococcal vaccines cannot prevent all types of the disease. there are vaccines against many types of Streptococcus pneumoniae Hib. there are vaccines and preventative measures one can take to protect themselves. This not only applies to health facilities. Before traveling to another country. children 2-10 years old and adults over 55. Of the two types.2008) As you can see.(National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases: Division of Bacterial Disease. They include pain relievers and anticonvulsants. Knowing risk factors. College freshmen living in dormitories.S. viral and bacterial. signs and symptoms as well as what treatments are available can make a huge difference in the ability to protect themselves from infection.Bacterial Meningitis 4 to help deal with the symptoms. If one was not given. (McCoy. Just like any other vaccine. The Meningococcal conjugate vaccine was only licensed in 2005. and some types of N. If you fall into one of the higher-risk categories it can also be considered. it is a good idea to check the health warnings for your destination.The Meningococcal conjugate vaccine is recommended for all children at a routine visit around 12 years old. These have been available for over 20 years. 2008) Despite it being a generally rare disease. These include people with autoimmune disorders.but requires quick diagnosis and treatment to prevent it from becoming deadly. .

Bacterial Meningitis: Spinal Meningitis. from Nursing Reference Center database. K. D. In The Center for Disease Control [Frequently Asked Questions]. & Pravikoff. May 28). (HL12024) National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases: Division of Bacterial Disease. 2009... from http://www. Retrieved February 23. Conditions & Procedures InBrief.htm . October 20). R. from Consumer Health Complete 2009. 2009. MS.Bacterial Meningitis References 5 Buckley. Bacterial. Meningococcal Disease. Matteucci. January 1). (2008. (5000000475) McCoy.cdc. Meningitis. Retrieved February 22. CINAHL Nursing Guide.. L. (2008. (2008. Retrieved February 19.