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Bacterial Meningitis: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment of Bacterial Meningitis

Apr 08, 2019 | 12 months ago | Read Time: 3 minutes | By iKnowledge Team

What you will get as you read further, is clear and concise information on bacterial meningitis, its symptoms, causes and preventive measures. If contracted, how best the illness can be managed and treated, is also discussed.

Bacterial meningitis is a serious form of the disease. While it is the most common form, it can also be the most life threatening. It can be caused by a range of bacteria, including Haemophilus influenzae (H. influenzae) type B (Hib), Group B Streptococcus and Listeria monocytogenes (L. monocytogenes), among others. Let us first get an insight into what meningitis itself is all about.


Meningitis is an infection of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. It is caused by one of several types of infection – bacterial, viral or even fungal. The illness is such that it can quickly escalate from mild to acute, and if chronic, can last for even over a month. Whether in case of an infant, child or adult, he possibility of having contracted meningitis should be a red flag, and you should see a doctor immediately. Coming to bacterial meningitis, you should know that approximately 80 percent of all cases are acute and can often turn life-threatening.


Typically, children between the ages of one month to two years are the most susceptible to bacterial meningitis. In the case of an adult, certain prevalent conditions such as surgery or an underlying disease can increase the risk of getting infected. A person with a weakened or compromised immune system is also at enhanced risk. Outbreaks of this illness are also not uncommon, especially in areas where you are likely to come in close contact with someone who has already contracted the infection. In the US alone from 2003 to 2007, there were around 4,100 cases reported every year. Of these, approximately 500 have proved fatal.


In India, between 2014 and 2015, a total of 16,217 cases were reported in India, of which 300 deaths were recorded.


Let’s look at what symptoms you should watch out for, if you suspect someone has contracted bacterial meningitis:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache and muscle pain
  • Fever
  • Photophobia (increased sensitivity to light)
  • Rash or even mottled skin

As the infection worsens, symptoms may include seizures and coma.


In the case of infants, they may refuse to feed, become cranky and irritable, or cry excessively. Their movements may be stiff and jerky, or contrary to that, the infant may turn floppy and listless.


In the event of a rash, a glass rash test may be conducted to ascertain the presence of a meningitis rash. Ideally, under pressure, the rash should lose colour. However, if the colour continues to remain the same showing no signs of fading, you should consult a doctor immediately.


The best way to prevent bacterial meningitis is to strictly adhere to the vaccination schedule as prescribed by your doctor. Treatment for the infection typically requires hospital care, to monitor the condition of the patient. Antibiotics are almost always required, and depending upon the severity of the case, further treatment may include the introduction of corticosteroids, anticonvulsants, oxygen therapy. Sometimes, even sedatives are included in the treatment, as is admission to the Intensive Care Unit, or ICU. If left undetected or untreated, death can occur in almost 100 percent of cases.


That said, hospital care does not come cheap. In fact, it is only spiralling rapidly, and without the right health insurance plans for the family, treatment may cause a severe strain on your finances. In a scenario such as this, the iTerm Plus Insurance Plan from Aegon Life may literally be a lifesaver. Not only does it cover as many as 36 critical illnesses, but it is also cost-effective. You can choose the level of protection you would want to avail of, by selecting the relevant plan option. Further, you can increase the level of protection via this term policy as your responsibilities increase, for example, in the event of the birth of a child.


Here is an interesting article that provides detailed insights into how term insurance works, and what benefits you can derive from it.


To protect yourself and your loved ones in case of any eventuality and from the dangers of bacterial meningitis, availing of iTerm Plus Insurance Plan is important. Get yourself the peace of mind that you deserve, and rest assured that quality healthcare is now well within reach, without having to stretch yourself.

II/Mar 2019/4883


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