Ways & How

how to get meningitis

how to get meningitis

Meningitis is an inflammation of the brain membranes or spinal cord. If left unattended, this disease can cause damage to the brain, loss of hearing, kidney problems, and limb amputations. Mostly, meningitis is difficult to recognize because the symptoms are hard to notice and sometimes can be mistakenly diagnosed as the simple flu. There are several factors involved in how to get meningitis. Generally, it caused by parasites, viral, fungal, and bacterial infections or by certain organisms. A group of researchers from the Imperial College and Oxford University in London, England disclosed that bacterial meningitis transforms human cells in order to evade the antibodies produced by the immune system. This is the reason why meningitis is difficult to detect. Generally, early, common symptoms of meningitis are: persistent skin rashes, high fever, nausea, severe headache, vomiting, and cold hands and feet. In babies, the common symptoms are: frequent crying, difficult to wake up when asleep, refusing to be fed, skin rashes, rapid breathing, and blotchy or pale skin.

In older children, the symptoms include: skin rashes, stiff neck, shivering, uncomfortable with bright lights, severe joint pain, confusion, and rapid breathing. In order to avoid this disease, consider the health tips below on how a person can get meningitis:

  1. Exposure to saliva and nasal secretions. When someone experiencing coughs and colds sneezes without covering his or her mouth, the meningococcal bacteria can spread around. At an early stage, the bacteria are very active and can easily infect other people. Meningococcal bacteria are always around us. They are airborne. When they invade the brain or the blood, the infected person can really be seriously ill.

  2. Kissing someone who has meningitis. Kissing can easily transfer the bacteria from one person to another. It is a more dangerous exposure because the bacteria are permitted to invade the brain easily.

  3. Sharing of foods, beverages, and cigarettes. As long as the infected saliva is transferred from one person to another by any means, the meningococcal bacteria are automatically transferred. More so when an infected person shares his or her food and beverages with another person.

  4. Community exposure. Meningococcal bacteria are airborne, and they are very active when there is an outbreak. By simply breathing of the contaminated air, anyone can be infected.

  5. Risk in newborns (up to three months old) and premature babies. They can contract meningitis when they are infected with Streptococci (Group B) bacteria which usually live in the vagina of the mother, and Escherichia coli which usually inhabit in the digestive tract.

  6. Risk in older children. They are commonly infected by Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae (type B) and Neisseria meningitidis (meningococcus). In particular, Haemophilus influenzae (type B) usually infects children under five.

  7. Risk in adults. The usual causes of infection are S. pneumoniae and N. meningitides. However, the rates of pneumococcal meningitis in children and adults significantly decreased since the introduction of pneumococcal vaccine.

  8. Viral infection. The common viruses that cause meningitis include: Herpes simplex virus (type 2), enteroviruses, HIV, Varicella zoster virus, LCMV, and mumps virus. For example, anyone in contact with a person suffering from HIV may contract not only the HIV itself, but may also develop meningitis.

Anyone can be infected with meningitis. However, the infection may be avoided by maintaining a strong immune system. Meningitis usually affects children and older people whose immune systems are either still developing or already weak. At the onset, the infection will cause a health disturbance for four to five days. It will take an average of ten days before the infected person gets sick. All in all, being familiar with the ways on how to get meningitis can help a lot in avoiding the disease itself.


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