Meningitis = inflammation of meninges
Generalized symptoms: fever, headache, stiff neck, light sensitivity, confusion, lethargy,
4 types of infectious meningitis
1. bacterial – we have a vaccine for that! 3-7 days; spreads in close communities (like college dorms). Spreads through prolonged contact. Confirmed through spinal tap and cerebrospinal fluid culture
2. viral – most common type; can be caused by lots of viruses: enterovirus, mumps, measles, flu, west nile. 7-10 days. This is why I believe in vaccines!
3. Fungal – not contagious; most common in patient with suppressed immune systems or secondary from surgery.
4. Parasitic – Rare yet fatal. Amoeba enters through nose from warm contaminated fresh water sources or pool, even hot springs (warm up to 115* F). Only 31 cases in the 10 years between 2002 and 2012. Destroys brain tissue ~ 5 days.
Non-infectious causes: Surgery, injury, lupus, cancer
The most important thing is that all of this be monitored by a doctor – ALWAYS!!