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Meningitis Treatment

Reviewed on 9/11/2020

How is meningitis treated?

Treatment depends on the type of meningitis.
Treatment depends on the type of meningitis.

Treatment depends on the type of meningitis. The treatment for different types of meningitis is as follows:

Bacterial meningitis: It is treated with antibiotics. Intravenous administration of corticosteroids and antibiotics helps to bring down inflammation. After identifying the specific bacteria, physicians may change antibiotics. Besides antibiotics, the physician may also replenish fluids lost from sweating, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Viral meningitis: Most of the cases of viral meningitis resolve on its own. Treatment of mild cases of viral meningitis include:

Antiviral medications may be given when there’s an infection with the herpes virus.

Antifungal medications may be useful in treating fungal meningitis.

Parasitic meningitis: Early treatment with high-dose intravenous antibiotics may be useful in treating meningitis.

Noninfectious meningitis: The cause of meningitis is identified and treated. Allergic or autoimmune meningitis may be treated with corticosteroids. 

Moreover, the physician may prescribe sedatives for irritability or restlessness.

What is meningitis?

Meningitis is an inflammation of the membrane (meninges) surrounding the brain and spinal cord and is characterized by an abnormal number of white blood cells in the cerebrospinal fluid. Meninges act as a protective layer to the brain and spinal cord. Inflammation occurs mainly due to bacterial or viral infection. Other causes of meningitis include:

Treatment of meningitis differs depending on the causes.

How does one get meningitis?

The main cause of meningitis may be a bacterial or viral infection that originates in the ears, sinuses, or throat. Less common causes of meningitis include:

Factors that increase the risk of meningitis include:

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How does the physician diagnose meningitis?

The physician may diagnose meningitis based on the symptoms presented. A thorough history of the patient might help the physician to diagnose meningitis. Other tests that may help the physician to diagnose include:

Can bacterial meningitis be cured?

There’s a 10% death rate from bacterial meningitis; however, early diagnosis and treatment may help the patients to recover.

How to minimize the risk of meningitis?

The risk of meningitis can be mitigated by following these simple steps:

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References
https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/232915-treatment#d17

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/11039-bacterial-meningitis/outlook--prognosis

https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Meningitis-and-Encephalitis-Fact-Sheet

https://www.cdc.gov/meningitis/index.html

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