Bacterial Meningitis

1

A Contagious Disease: Bacterial Meningitis Kelly College

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

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

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

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

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

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