Meningitis is a condition that affects the meninges, which are layers of tissue that surround the brain and spinal cord. There are a number of important things that adults need to understand about meningitis. Below is a list of facts about meningitis in adults:
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There Are Different Types of Meningitis
Meningitis can be caused by a virus, bacteria or fungus. Viral meningitis is by far the most common. Bacterial meningitis is very serious, and it requires that a person be treated with antibiotics urgently. Fungal meningitis is also very serious. It typically occurs in people who have weak immune systems. People who have weakened immune systems are also more likely to develop complications from meningitis.
The Symptoms of Meningitis Are Not Always Easily Recognized
It is not always easy to recognize the symptoms of meningitis. Nausea, vomiting, cold hands and fever are some of the most common signs of meningitis. The symptoms of meningitis are sometimes mistaken for the flu. Some people with meningitis may also develop a rash.
There Is a Vaccine Available
One of the best things that can be done to prevent meningitis is to get vaccinated. Vaccines are especially recommended for military recruits, people who are living in a dormitory and people who will be traveling to an area where meningitis is common. However, it is important to note that vaccines will not protect against all types of meningitis.
The Prognosis for an Adult With Meningitis
The prognosis for an adult with meningitis is largely dependent on the type of meningitis that one has. If a person with bacterial meningitis does not get treated right away, then the chances of dying can be as high as 90 percent. Even if a person does survive bacterial meningitis, he or she is still likely to be left with permanent disabilities if the condition is not treated right away.
Fungal meningitis can also be fatal if it is not treated right away. Fortunately, most patients are able to make a complete recovery from viral meningitis. In fact, most people recover within seven to 10 days. There is no specific treatment for viral meningitis, but doctors recommend fluids and rest.
Good Hygiene Helps Prevent Meningitis
In addition to getting the vaccine, good hygiene can help prevent meningitis. It is important to avoid sharing personal items with other people, such as eating utensils and lip balm. People should also wash their hands frequently. Furthermore, staying healthy by getting enough rest, eating right and exercising can help prevent meningitis.