How to diagnose reactive meningitis in time and prevent serious consequences


How does the infection occur?

Reactive meningitis is a deadly disease in which the meninges are inflamed. The threat to life is especially high for , the elderly and people with low immune responses. The disease is difficult to diagnose due to the rapid progression of the inflammatory focus, which introduces a person to a coma in a few hours.

The main reason for the development of pathology is infection. The causative agents of the disease are staphylococci, meningococci and other pathogenic microorganisms. Infectious agent enters the body as follows:

  • by airborne droplets when a person inhales contaminated air when communicating with a carrier;
  • by contact, in which pathogens are deposited on the skin, and then penetrate into the body;
  • through foods containing pathogens.

If a person becomes infected with one of the methods described, primary meningitis is diagnosed. If the disease develops due to a complication of angina, pneumonia or other infections, then a secondary form of the disease is detected.

An airborne way of spreading infection often leads to epidemiological outbreaks.

When meningeal pathogens enter the body, inflammatory phenomena in the meninges develop. Then the brain swells, leading to dysfunction of the cerebral vessels. Due to a decrease in the absorption of spinal fluid, intracranial pressure increases dramatically, hydrocephalus is diagnosed. As a result, the spinal and cranial nerves are inflamed.

The development of meningitis also contribute to injuries of the head, back, inflammatory diseases, the presence of boils on the body.


Reactive meningitis manifests itself dramatically, therefore, at the first suspicious signs you need to consult a doctor. Delay can provoke irreversible complications and death.

Important! With the rapid increase in symptoms should call an ambulance.

The main symptom of the disease is a painful headache, which increases with motor activity. The patient can not bend his head to the chest. Such pain can lead to loss of consciousness. Associated symptoms are hot flashes, fever, chills.

An emetic attack develops. But the person does not feel nauseous before vomiting. Lightning rises body temperature, which is accompanied by hallucinations, delusions, disorientation in space. The patient may fall into a coma. In infants, the protrusion of the spring is fixed, which indicates the accumulation of fluid.

Particularly dangerous rash on the body of the patient, not treatable. Necrotic rash is localized on the legs, arms, causing blood infection. To save a person’s life, doctors amputate the affected limb.

The most informative symptoms of Kernig and Brudzinsky. Kernig’s symptom is manifested in the inability to raise a straight leg, being in a horizontal position. The disease is also confirmed when there is a symptom of Brudzinsky: when the one leg is flexed, the second one also bends.

Diagnostic methods

Any manifestation of meningitis should cause the doctor to suspect an infection. It is urgently necessary to hospitalize a patient for emergency diagnostic measures, including:

  • lumbar puncture in which spinal fluid is taken;
  • a clinical blood test that determines the concentration of leukocytes and the erythrocyte sedimentation rate;
  • urinalysis, indicating the presence of protein;
  • examination of the fundus;
  • X-ray;
  • computed tomography.

How to diagnose reactive meningitis in time and prevent serious consequences

After instrumental confirmation of the diagnosis, intensive therapy is initiated.


Reactive meningitis is treated in a medical institution. One of the main means of treatment is antibacterial drugs. The choice of a specific antibiotic depends on the causative agent of the disease, which is determined after the analysis. Usually, intramuscularly administered maximum doses of macrolides or penicillins. If shock develops, medications are injected intravenously, and with a rapid deterioration of the patient’s condition, into the spinal region.

In addition to the fight against the causative agent of meningitis, evacuation of toxins from the body is required. For the purpose of intoxication, potassium preparations, saline solutions are used. With kidney failure, corticosteroids are used, with spasmodic syndrome – antispasmodics. In order to prevent cerebral edema, furosemide is prescribed.

Antipyretic drugs are needed to reduce performance on the thermometer. The patient is required to take multivitamin complexes in order to restore the body’s defensive reaction and speed up the healing process.

Preventive actions

To prevent the development of meningitis, vaccination against pathogens is required. But the vaccine cannot give a guaranteed result. You should refuse to visit public places during epidemiological outbreaks of the disease. It is also recommended to follow the rules of hygiene and do not contact with carriers of the infectious agent.

Possible consequences

Reactive meningitis is a deadly disease leading to irreversible complications. In the absence of timely treatment, the person dies. The risk of death is especially high for children and the elderly..

If a patient is saved from death, the following consequences may develop:

  • a decrease in serum sodium concentration;
  • delayed psychophysical development in children;
  • deafness, blindness;
  • septic shock;
  • paralysis.

A serious complication is the DIC, in which the rash is combined in large spots, provoking gangrene. This condition requires amputation of the affected limbs, which leads to disability.

Note! The latest provide a complete cure for the patient, provided the treatment is started in a timely manner.

Complications are recorded in rare cases when the human body is greatly weakened and the patient does not seek medical help in time.

The only way to recover from reactive meningitis is rapid hospitalization after the first symptoms of the disease.

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