Meningitis Treatment in Washington State
What is Meningitis?
The thin tissue that surrounds the brain and spinal cord is called the meninges. If the meninges is inflamed due to infection or a reaction, meningitis is the result. Although the most common type of meningitis is viral, there are a number of different types that can be deadly if not treated properly.
Types of Meningitis
While there are a number of types of meningitis, there are three main classifications:
- Viral Meningitis – The most common and least severe type of meningitis, this is often caused by viruses like mumps, measles, and influenza. It is spread by close contact to a person with meningitis, or via mosquitoes, fecal matter, or other contamination. It may resolve on its own. Symptoms include: Fever, Headache, Irritability, Light Sensitivity, Nausea, Vomiting, Lethargy, Sleepiness
- Bacterial Meningitis – While not as common as viral meningitis, this type is very serious and can be deadly, especially if associated with sepsis. Babies are at an increased risk of getting this type. The stretptococcus bacteria is one of the consistent causes. Treatment is necessary. Symptoms include: Nausea, Vomiting, Light Sensitivity, Altered Mental State
- Fungal Meningitis – A very rare type of meningitis that affects the blood and spinal cord, this typically occurs in people with weakened immune systems due to diseases like HIV or cancer. Cryptococcus is the most common cause. Treatment is necessary. Symptoms include: Stiff Neck, Fever, Nausea, Headache, Light Sensitivity, Altered Mental State
Treatment of Meningitis
The type of treatment you receive will heavily depend on the type of meningitis for which you have been diagnosed. After undergoing samples of blood or cerebrospinal fluid, or a swab of your nose and throat for viral meningitis, your diagnosis will be made.
If you are experiencing viral meningitis, you should recover on your own within 7 to 10 days. However, if you have a weakened immune system, you may be placed on antiviral medications in order to fully recover.
If you are experiencing bacterial meningitis, there are a series of antibiotics that will be given to you. It is important to start these as early as possible.
If you are experiencing fungal meningitis, you may be admitted to the hospital and given doses of antifungal medications through an IV. However, this will all depend on the severity.
If you feel as though you have contracted meningitis, or have further questions about treatment options, contact Northwest Medical Specialties today to schedule an appointment by calling 253-428-8700.