Nervous System


Meningitis is an inflammation of the protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord (meninges). The resulting swelling causes symptoms (such as headache, fever, and stiff neck). It can affect anyone, but is common in young people from birth until adulthood. Meningitis can be very serious if not treated quickly as it can cause blood poisoning and lead to permanent brain or nerve damage.


  • Bacterial meningitis: The types of bacteria that infect people of every age group vary, and they are contagious, dangerous, and life-threatening. It is an emergency condition that requires immediate medical care.
  • Viral meningitis: It is more common than bacterial meningitis, and is more common in late summer and early fall. It is contagious and usually mild and goes away quickly.
  • Other types: fungal meningitis and parasitic meningitis.
  • Non- infectious meningitis: Sometimes, cancers, lupus, certain medications, head injuries, and brain surgery can cause meningitis.

Methods of transportation:
Most types of meningitis are transmitted through respiratory secretions through sneezing, coughing, sharing cups, toothbrushes, cigarettes, etc.

  • Bacterial meningitis: It is often transmitted from people carrying bacteria in the throat or nose, but it is rarely transmitted from those infected with it.
  • Fungal meningitis: The infection is acquired from the environment (such as inhaling the microbe from a contaminated place), and people who suffer from certain medical conditions (such as diabetes, cancer, or HIV) are more susceptible to infection.
  • Parasitic meningitis: Various parasites can cause meningitis or can affect the brain or nervous system in other ways. In general, parasitic meningitis is less common than viral and bacterial meningitis.

Risk factors:

  • Not taking the vaccine against the disease.
  • Age (less than 5 years old or older than 60 years old)
  • Weakened body immunity due to AIDS, diabetes, splenectomy, etc.
  • Living with a large group of people (such as: group housing or military bases) because the rate of infection spread increases in crowds.
  • Contact with people infected with infectious types of this disease.

In the beginning, flu-like symptoms appear, and they become more severe over several hours or days.
Symptoms that affect those over the age of two years:

  • High temperature.
  • Neck stiffness.
  • Severe headache with nausea and vomiting.
  • The appearance of a skin rash.
  • Cramps.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Fatigue and difficulty waking up from sleep.
  • Sensitivity to light.

Symptoms that may appear in those under two years of age:

  • High temperature.
  • Lethargy and unresponsiveness.
  • Swelling of the soft spot on the head.
  • Stiffness in the child’s body and neck.
  • Refusal to breastfeed.
  • Irritability and rejection of being moved by others.
  • Crying in an abnormal tone.
  • Cramps.
  • Skin rash in some meningitis.

When to see a doctor:
When symptoms of meningitis are observed in someone, or in a family member, or even co-workers, that person may need to take the vaccine to prevent infection.

Most people recover completely from meningitis, but it can sometimes cause serious long-term problems and can be life-threatening. If meningitis is not treated immediately, it can cause serious blood poisoning, leading to permanent damage to the brain and nerves, and among most common complications are:

  • Hearing loss.
  • Difficulty remembering and concentrating.
  • Learning difficulties.
  • Problems with walking and balance.
  • Epileptic seizures.
  • Kidney problems.

It is important to know the cause of meningitis as the treatment varies depending on the cause:

  • Treatment of viral meningitis: It cannot be treated with antibiotics, but it goes away in most cases without medical intervention by rest, drinking fluids, and using painkillers. The doctor may prescribe steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce swelling of the brain membranes, and he may also prescribe antiepileptics to control convulsions.
  • Treatment of bacterial meningitis: antibiotics taken intravenously and steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and medications vary depending on the bacteria causing the disease.

There are also other treatments that include the following:

  • Fluids through the vein to avoid dehydration.
  • Antivirals may be used (but their treatment is linked to the body’s resistance) and antifungals depending on the cause.


  • Taking the vaccine for meningitis.
  • Washing hands well in the correct way.
  • Maintaining general hygiene and not sharing cups, toothbrushes, etc. with others.
  • Improving the body’s immunity by practicing healthy behaviors such as ensuring healthy food and exercising.
  • Covering the mouth and nose when sneezing.
  • Giving preventive treatment to those coming from affected areas or who have been in contact with infected people.

Last Update : 05 November 2023 01:38 PM
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