FAQ - Meningitis, Bacterial
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How long does bacterial meningitis germs stay on something?

How long does bacterial meningitis stay on an abject? Like a blanket?

My nephew died 18 months ago at 3 years old of bacterial meng. meningitis, and today my son got into the memory box of his things and pulled out the blanket that my nephew was wrapped in when he passed away. I immediately had my son wash his hands. But I am still nervous about the whole thing, could there still be infectious germs on it?

I understand your apprehension but the blanket is fine, your son is safe. The different bacteria that can cause meningitis cannot live outside the body for very long. I'm truly sorry about your nephew's death.  (+ info)

What is the pathophysiology of bacterial meningitis?

I need to write a paper for my patho class and I have decided to write on bacterial meningitis and would like a clear simple answer to get me started. Anything would help! Thanks

Meningitis is caused by the bacteria Neisseria meningitidis (known as "meningococcal meningitis") .
In bacterial meningitis, bacteria reach the meninges by one of two main routes: through the bloodstream or through direct contact between the meninges and either the nasal cavity or the skin. In most cases, meningitis follows invasion of the bloodstream by organisms that live upon mucous surfaces such as the nasal cavity. This is often preceded further by viral infections, which break down the normal barrier provided by the mucous surfaces. Once bacteria have entered the bloodstream, they enter the subarachnoid space in places where the blood-brain barrier is vulnerable—such as the choroid plexus. In the newborn, 25% of those with bloodstream infections due to group B streptococci experience meningitis; in adults this phenomenon is more uncommon.[1] Direct contamination of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) may arise from indwelling devices, skull fractures, or infections of the nasopharynx or the nasal sinuses that have formed a tract with the subarachnoid space (see above); occasionally, congenital defects of the dura mater can be identified.

The large-scale inflammation that occurs in the subarachnoid space during meningitis is not a direct result of bacterial infection but can rather largely be attributed to the response of the immune system to the entrance of bacteria into the central nervous system. When components of the bacterial cell membrane are identified by the immune system-related cells of the brain (astrocytes and microglia), they respond by releasing large amounts of cytokines, hormone-like mediators that recruit other immune cells and stimulate other tissues to participate in an immune response. The blood-brain barrier becomes more permeable, leading to "vasogenic" cerebral edema (swelling of the brain due to fluid leakage from blood vessels). Large numbers of white blood cells enter the CSF, causing inflammation of the meninges, and leading to "interstitial" edema (swelling due to fluid between the cells). In addition, the wall of the blood vessels themselves becomes inflamed (cerebral vasculitis), which leads to a decreased blood flow and a third type of edema, "cytotoxic" edema. The three different forms of cerebral edema all lead to an increased intracranial pressure; together with the lowered blood pressure often encountered in acute infection this means that it is harder for blood to enter the brain, and brain cells are deprived of oxygen and undergo apoptosis (automated cell death). Recently, there has been more evidence to suggest that a complicated network of cytokines, chemokines, proteolytic enzymes and oxidants are responsible for the entire inflammatory process which leads to necrosis (cell death). Genetic targeting and/or pharmacological blockages of these pathways may help to prevent diffuse (widespread) brain injury and therefore decrease mortality of meningitis.

It is recognized that antibiotics may initially worsen the process outlined above, by increasing the amount of bacterial cell membrane products released through the destruction of bacteria. Particular treatments, such as the use of glucocorticoids, are aimed at dampening the immune system's response to this phenomenon
  (+ info)

What's the difference between Viral, bacterial and fungal meningitis?

I know that they're all different types obviously, bacterial being the most severe. But what's the difference? How does it affect the meninges different and body systems etc?

Also..is meningitis just caused frm typical bacteria that just gets spread through the blood into the spinal fluid?
For example makes bacterial so much worse than viral and how can viral disappear on it's own where bacterial, treatment is necessary.
The MAIN thing I need to know is WHY bacterial is so much more harmful than viral. Like, if both affect the meninges, why is viral so much less serious?

Viral meningitis can be caused by many different viruses, including common intestinal viruses and viruses associated with mumps and herpes infection. In some cases, people can get viral meningitis from drinking polluted water.

The viruses that cause meningitis are contagious, but most people who become infected don't actually develop meningitis. Viral meningitis is usually mild and often clears up within one to two weeks.

Bacterial meningitis is a serious and frequently fatal illness. Even treated early, it can result in brain damage, hearing loss or learning disabilities. Some forms of bacterial meningitis such as meningococcal meningitis are highly contagious. The bacteria are spread though coughing, sneezing, kissing or sharing items such as eating utensils or toothbrushes with an infected person. Bacteria commonly identified as causing meningitis are Neisseria meningitidis, Haemophilus influenza, group B streptococcus (in newborns) and Streptococcus pneumoniae. Other less common bacteria include tuberculosis, Listeria, Staphlococcus and Salmonella.

Fungal and parasitic meningitis are relatively uncommon. Fungal meningitis is more common in people with a weakened immune system.

Viral meningitis usually doesn't require treatment, although certain types of viral meningitis such as herpes meningitis (HSV1) must be treated with antiviral agents to prevent complications or even death. Doctors often recommend bed rest, fluids and over-the-counter medications to relieve fever and headache. Most people completely recover on their own.

Bacterial meningitis needs to be treated immediately to prevent serious complications and death. A number of antibiotics can be used to treat bacterial meningitis, depending on the organism causing the infection. Other medications may also be used to treat symptoms and prevent permanent damage from the disease.  (+ info)

What are the long-term effects of bacterial meningitis?

After a person had bacterial meningitis and survived after being treated at the hospital, what are the known long-term effects from it? I know hearing loss is one of them, but what are others?

Important to know...

"Severe illness (such as meningitis) during the first years of life, physical trauma and severe dehydration can cause brain injury and result in Cerebral Palsy."

I pasted this quote directly from the WebMD page...


Another possible effect is that your eyes become super-sensite to light.

Here is another great page about meningitis in general...


These are symptoms, some being long-term effects (such as paralysis)...


I just did a search for you and this page came up. webmd is a great resource...I use it all the time.

Good to know:
Dexamethasone (Decadron, Hexadrol, and Solurex).
Mannitol (Osmitrol).
These medications reduce inflammation in the brain tissues from meningitis, which may lower the risk of developing short-term complications such as seizures and long-term complications such as hearing loss.

I found that out here:


God Bless, Joe  (+ info)

How does one get bacterial meningitis?

Are there different kinds of bacterial meningitis? Who is most likely to get this disease? Is it preventible?

Great questions. There are several different types of bacterial meningitis. Overall, the most common is the one caused by a bacteria called Streptococcu pneumoniae. Another common one is caused by Neiserria meningitidis. Less common ones include the bacteria Haemophilus influenzae, Escherichia coli, Streptococcus pyoenes and Listeria monocytogenes. There are rare cases of Staphylococcus aureus causing meningitis.

You get bacteril meningitis by being exposed to one of the bacteria that causes it. The bacteria usually starts in your throat and can cross into your blood where it eventually makes its way to the lining around your brain. Some types of meningitis can start elsewhere (skin, genital tract, intestine) and then get to your brain, but this is by far the exception.

Who gets them most often depends on which bug. S. pneumoniae tends to affect young children and older people more than the rest. N. meningitidis affects little kids and teenagers, H. influenzae is only in really small kids and E. coli, S. pyogenes and Listeria only typically affect newborns. Sometimes older people or people who have weak immune systems get listeria meningitis.

Many are preventable. There is a vaccine for Haemophilus influenza which has almost eliminated the diease. All kids usually get it. The "pneumonia shot" protects people against S. pneumoniae meningitis and there are now vaccines available for N. meningitidis meningitis which are usually given to kids and/or teens. Sometimes, doctors will also give antibiotics to somebody who has been exposed to a person with a certain type of meningitis to help prevent it.

Hope this helped!  (+ info)

How long will someone with bacterial meningitis stay in the hospital?

My 13 year old cousin got bacterial meningitis.
She seems to be reacting to the treatment fine (accoriding to my mom)
This is her first time getting it and they caught it fast.
How long will she be gone?

Any where from a couple of days to a week or more. it depends on the infection and how well the person is responding to treatment,  (+ info)

How can you tell the difference between bacterial meningitis and viral meningitis?

I've been diagnosed with viral meningitis but I'm not sure the doctor was right since I've never gotten a spinal tap to check the fluids. I need to know if I can distinguish between the two kinds of meningitis. The faster and more informative the response, the better.

When did you first become ill if it was 3 days or more ago then it is viral otherwise you would be dead. If it has been less then 3 days go to you local ER asap and tell them what your dr told you. Your dr is an idiot for saying that the only way to see if it is meningitis is to do an LP or grow blood cultures. I think what you have is viral because if it was bacterial you would not be able to be sitting on the computer.

For all you know you don't have Meningitis at all.
Good luck and i hope your feeling better soon  (+ info)

What is the scientific name for Bacterial Meningitis?

I was just wondering if there is an actual scientific name for bacterial meningitis. I need it for a science task and need a reply ASAP. Thanks in advance.


bacterial meningitis is quite scientific.. but there are types, like "acute bacterial meningitis" or "meningococcal meningitis"..
if you could be more specific..  (+ info)

What are prehospital treatments for bacterial meningitis?

I need to find out some different prehospital ways to treat bacterial meningitis for a report. Can anyone give me some answers or give me a link to a site that might? Thank you

The previous answer was wrong. Nausea and fever won't kill someone, at least in the short term. The most important thing is rapid transport. Other items:
1) universal precautions (it's contagious)
2) oxygen, if needed
3) IV fluids (don't delay transport)
4) general supportive care
5) unless the patient was elderly, or had known heart disease, a cardiac monitor wouldn't be needed

The window of treatment for bacterial meningitis is often a few hours. If treatment isn't started quickly enough, the patient won't survive. This is particularly true for young children.

The first responders (EMS, fire, police)will likely need to be treated with antibiotics.  (+ info)

what is the gestation period for Bacterial and/or Viral meningitis?

A freind of ours just got put in the hospital for meningitis,, they don't know if it is bacterial or viral. He was over here, about a week and a half ago. I have 2 kids, and am concerned if they can get it, or my husband and I.

Patients with meningitis typically remain contagious while they still have symptoms. People who have bacterial meningitis can be contagious for about 24 hours after they begin taking antibiotics. Incubation period ranges from 2-14 days.  (+ info)

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