Infection occurs through airborne droplets from the carrier of the infection, which is in a latent or active state. During the 10 days of the incubation period, the pathogenic flora multiplies actively in the body and leads to the first signs of the disease: rash, headaches, impaired motor and speech function, and other disorders.
Meningitis and its causes
Meningitis is a pathology that affects the membranes of the brain and spinal cord, while the inflammatory process develops outside the membranes and does not damage the organ. Depending on the causative agent of the disease, meningitis may be:
- Bacterial, causative agents are meningococcus, syphilis, staphylococcus, tubercle bacillus.
- Viral – mumps, rubella, herpes, enterovirus lead to the development.
- Fungal, which develops as a result of reproduction of the fungus of the genus Candida.
Depending on the nature of the inflammation, meningitis can be serous and purulent. By origin primary (pathology develops when infection penetrates into the brain) or secondary (the disease is the result of untreated infectious and inflammatory pathologies of other organs).
The most common viral nature and is the result of untreated viral diseases of various localization (inflammation of the maxillary sinuses, otitis, lung abscess). With timely correct therapy, recovery occurs. Bacterial infection is much less likely to affect the membranes of the body and leads to serious complications.
Infection can occur from an infected person through airborne droplets. More rarely from insect carriers of infection when bitten through water. There is a possibility of infection by the lymphogenous and hematogenous route, for example, if the hygienic norms are not observed during medical procedures or with blood from other inflammatory organs. From mother to child pathogenic flora pathogens of meningitis is transmitted during the passage through the birth canal.
Predisposing factors include malnutrition, physical inactivity, hypothermia, chronic pathologies of various etiologies, endocrine disorders, autoimmune diseases.
Meningitis can be recognized by the following features:
- the occurrence of a sharp and unbearable headache;
- increase in body temperature to critical levels;
- vomiting fountain;
- confusion and clouding of consciousness;
Purulent meningitis is manifested by these symptoms, which can be associated with severe body toxicity, anxiety and fear, tremor of the limbs, muscle weakness. The period of wakefulness is replaced by apathy, and the feeling of drowsiness may end in a coma.
Severe pains as the pathology progresses make the patient take a characteristic posture for meningitis – lying on its side, legs bent at the knee joints and pulled to the peritoneum, head thrown back.
In half of the cases, infection and inflammation of the lining of the brain is characterized by a hemorrhagic rash, which is accompanied by severe pain. When touching the body, the pain becomes unbearable, the patient makes screams.
When tapping on the facial nerves, pain occurs, covering the entire skull. A vascular grid appears on the head, the spring of the spring is diagnosed in children.
In the absence of timely treatment, a more severe clinical picture arises: swelling of the brain, loss of consciousness, convulsive syndrome, coma.
Hemorrhagic rash in meningitis disease allows you to confirm the diagnosis and identify the cause of inflammation. Most often, a similar symptom occurs when the bacterial etiology of the disease on the first day, less often on the third day from the beginning of the inflammatory process. Rashes increase with lightning speed and indicate a rapid development of the pathological process. In the absence of timely treatment, death is possible due to the onset of sepsis.
What does a meningitis rash look like? The spots have a bright red or purple-red color. Do not protrude above the skin, do not pale when pressed on the affected area of the body. As a rule, occurs and is localized on the limbs, as the progression encompasses the whole body. It may be in the form of small spots or large hematomas.
Rash on the body with the viral nature of pathology is extremely rare and can affect not only the epidermis, but also the mucous membranes of the eyes, mouth, nose, oropharynx. Such spots with meningitis have a pale red color and a different shape.
A rash accompanies the patient throughout the course of the disease. Spots with meningitis may disappear and may form crusts, which indicates the dying off of cellular structures. After the atrophied areas are rejected, and in their place are defects (scars, scars).
To recognize the rash, as a sign of meningitis, you can simple test, which should be carried out with caution, as any contact with the body causes pain. To hold it you will need an ordinary glass, which must be scrolled to the place of the rash. When blanching areas likelihood of inflammatory pathology of the membranes of the brain is not more than 20%. If the skin with stains does not change color – it is necessary to urgently call an ambulance and consult a doctor, as meningitis is a dangerous disease that leads to many unpleasant consequences:
- swelling of the brain;
- toxic shock;
- renal failure;
- damage to the elements of the musculoskeletal system;
- violation of motor function;
- speech problems;
- Cerebrastenic syndrome.
Meningeal rash has a feature that allows you to differentiate it from other pathological processes – the spots on the patient’s body do not cause itching, burning. If you have these symptoms, there is reason to believe that the cause of the rash was: chickenpox, rubella, measles, scabies or an allergy.
Recognize infectious-inflammatory brain damage can be by the presence of three syndromes. These are symptoms of meningitis and intoxication of the body, changes in the cerebrospinal fluid.
To obtain data on the clinical picture, the doctor conducts a survey and examination of the patient. During the study, it is important to establish the timeline for the onset of symptoms, whether there were insect bites. A neurologist with the help of special techniques checks the patient’s consciousness, the presence of signs of irritation of the brain membranes and focal symptoms.
General clinical and bacteriological analysis of heme is used to identify the inflammatory process. The presence of pathological processes is indicated by an increase in the sedimentation rate of red blood cells, a change in fibrinogen and reactive protein.
An important step in the diagnosis of meningitis is a lumbar puncture, with which 2 ml of CSF is taken from the lumbar spinal cord to conduct research. This method is safe and easy to carry out, however, it allows to confirm or refute the diagnosis of “meningitis” with accuracy. In addition, the puncture allows to determine the pathogen of the pathological process and prescribe the correct treatment.
When inflammation of the brain membranes cerebral fluid comes out under high pressure. For the serous form of pathology, it is typical to obtain a clear CSF, with a purulent process – a cloudy, yellow-green color.
During laboratory studies, the level of cells in the cerebrospinal fluid, namely neutrophils, protein, lymphocytes, is determined. To identify the causes of the study of glucose levels. Thus, with purulent lesions, the level of glucose in the cerebrospinal fluid is often 0, with the candida, tuberculous nature of inflammation, the sugar level in the cerebral fluid decreases slightly. In the course of diagnosis, the ratio of protein, sugar and leukocyte is taken into account.
To study the state and performance of the brain CT scan and MRI are performed. To identify the pathogenic flora – the causes of the inflammatory process, PCR – polymerase chain reaction – is prescribed.
Treatment of meningitis is carried out in conditions of resuscitation. In the event of a clinical picture characteristic of inflammation of the lining of the brain, emergency medical care should be immediately called, as the symptomatic complex develops rapidly.
On an outpatient basis, before the arrival of doctors during hyperthermia, the patient can be given antipyretic drugs from the group of anti-inflammatory nonsteroidal medicines. It is important to eliminate all irritating factors that may aggravate the patient’s condition. It should limit the flow of light into the room, do not feed, put in a horizontal position and give rest. It is important to offer the patient plenty of drink. Wiping off in case of hyperthermia is not recommended, as the rash in meningitis is accompanied by pain, and such actions can aggravate the patient’s condition.
During treatment, bed rest, heavy drinking and diet are important. The basis of therapy consists of antibacterial drugs with increased permeability of a wide spectrum of action, namely penicillins (Amoxicillin), cephalosporins (Cefuroxime), lincosamides (Clindamycin). Antifungal drugs (ketoconazole) are used for fungal etiology. In addition to antibacterial drugs, antiviral and hormonal drugs are prescribed.
Antipyretic drugs are used to reduce body temperature. In case of severe intoxication of the body, intravenous administration of rehydration, saline solutions and glucose preparations is prescribed. To reduce the swelling of the brain and the withdrawal of toxic compounds – the decay products of the infectious flora, diuretics are used.
To improve the stability of the human immune system, vitamin-mineral complexes are used, in particular vitamins of groups B and C.
To reduce the pressure of cerebro-cerebral fluid used puncture of the spinal canal.
To prevent inflammation of the membranes of the brain, it is necessary to adhere to elementary rules:
- during an epidemic it is worth refusing to visit crowded places;
- hardening helps to strengthen the immune system, should begin with the summer period;
- during the cold season it is important to maintain the protective properties of the body by taking dietary supplements – vitamins and multivitamins;
- avoid prolonged exposure to low temperatures;
- if possible, get vaccinated against meningococcal disease;
- in case of contact with patients with meningitis, it is necessary to consult a doctor to prevent the development of pathogenic flora by using antibacterial drugs and immunoglobulins that are active against the main causative agent of the pathological process;
- refuse or limit travel to countries where there is a high risk of infection through insect bites;
- compulsory vaccination against tick-borne encephalitis, pneumococcus and other causative agents of meningitis.
Meningitis is a dangerous disease that is often fatal. With timely treatment, the prognosis is favorable. The disease is accompanied by intoxication, hyperthermia, headaches, rashes, increased irritability and other symptoms. Meningitis rash in young children and adults indicates a rapid development of the pathological process and requires urgent medical intervention.