Meningitis is a potentially lethal infection of the tissues or meninges around the brain and the spinal chord and it’s important to know how to diagnose Meningitis or spot the disease to receive early treatment. Although often thought of as a children’s disorder, the condition can affect people of all ages. Unfortunately, the disease can kill in a matter of hours, so it is essential that anyone exhibiting symptoms of Meningitis be taken to a hospital immediately.
The main symptoms of Meningitis are a high fever, a stiff neck and a terrible headache. Some patients have reported getting a migraine or severe headache on one side of the face accompanied by dizziness and nausea. Adult patients can become far more confused than usual, complain of nausea, complain that any light is painfully bright, may vomit or go into a series of dry heaves. If left untreated, they could go into seizures.
Small children or newborns often get strange red spots on their neck and chest but yet not have a fever. Although they may not vomit, they will lose their appetites. Some children under two years old develop a noticeable bulge on the head. Small children do not have fully formed skulls. When the meninges tissues are swollen, they can push the soft skull out and create a large lump.
There are two causes of Meningitis and treatment depends on diagnosing correctly. Contracting a virus or bacteria causes the onset of the disease. The only way to be sure of a diagnosis is to get a spinal tap. This is done by inserting a long, fine needle into the spine in order to collect spinal fluid. This is then analysed in a lab, generally at a hospital. Do not try to self-diagnose or self-medicate for Meningitis because of the possible severity of the disease which can lead to death if not treated properly.