Meningitis is a type of central nervous system infection. Neurological infections are one of the most serious problems of medicine, for patient survival depends fundamentally on being detected at an early stage. The significance of different infections of the nervous system is very variable. While it is true that there are some that only require bed rest, the most important are those in which the life of the patient is a real danger or can leave the patient sick forever. If you have been exposed to meningitis, seek help from your local Emergency Clinic in Maui.
The central nervous system consists of the brain, cerebellum, brainstem and spinal cord. The first three are the brain structures. All this is protected by bone, in particular by the skull and spine. In addition, the nervous system is covered with three membranes called meninges, which are located directly in the brain and provide additional protection to the bone. Inside of these membranes are the cerebrospinal fluid, which functions as a buffer against possible injury.
Meningitis is defined as inflammation of the meninges, with consequent alteration of cerebrospinal fluid. This fluid is very important for the diagnosis of meningitis, because their appearance will change, or not, depending on the type of microorganism producing the issue. Meningitis is sometimes accompanied by a process of inflammation of the brain that can lead to a decreased level of consciousness and other symptoms that suggest a more serious condition. When this happens, it is known as meningoencephalitis.
The best-known form of meningitis is of a bacterial nature. But there are other infections that can also reach the nervous system and cause meningitis. Thus, other causes of meningitis are infections of a viral origin (caused by viruses), which are the most common and milder. Other types of meningitis that are noninfectious; i.e. those that are not microorganisms that cause inflammation, but certain diseases -; like tumors, parasites, or reactions to drugs -; are not usually found in the cerebrospinal fluid. This group of meningitis is very rare and much less important than the infectious type. Viral meningitis, the most common, is mostly due to an enterovirus (causes intestinal infections), but can also give a person herpes, HIV, the mumps, or even the West Nile virus. Many people have viral meningitis and are not aware of it. Contact Wailea Medical Center and Urgent Care to learn more.