How is Meningitis Treated?
Unfortunately, Meningitis is a medical emergency. It can develop quickly, over a matter of a few hours. In order to diagnose Meningitis, doctors may do a blood test and take a sample of cerebrospinal fluid (the watery fluid that flows in and around the brain and spinal cord).
Bacterial Meningitis is life threatening. If you have been admitted to hospital with bacterial Meningitis you will first receive antibiotics intravenously. The hospital will continue to administer antibiotics until the infection is cured, which can take up to 2 weeks.
Viral meningitis is more common than bacterial Meningitis and is not life threatening. Antibiotics are not very useful in curing viral Meningitis and usually the infection resolves itself. The hospital is likely to administer painkillers and fluids to prevent dehydration.
What Are the After-Effects of Meningitis?
1 in 5 people who survive meningitis will suffer with after-effects. These can range in severity from headaches and memory loss to more extreme deafness and limb loss.
Meningitis is categorised as a brain injury and can have a long-lasting affect on a person’s ability to think and learn. However, in many cases the problems Meningitis cause do improve or disappear altogether.
After-effects and complications are more common with bacterial Meningitis. Viral Meningitis is a mild illness and after-effects occur more often in newborn infants and in the elderly rather than in children, adolescents or adults.
Where Can I Find Out More About Meningitis?
In Ireland, ACT for Meningitis offers a wide range of free support services to those affected by Meningitis. Services include free counselling for families or individuals who have been affected by Meningitis and free family support days aimed at bringing families together to share their experiences of Meningitis.
They also distribute hundreds of Meningitis awareness cards around the country every week and give free Meningitis awareness presentations to groups.
For further information about ACT for Meningitis visit www.actformeningitis.ie
The Confederation of Meningitis Organisations Inc. (CoMO) is an international member organisation working to reduce the incidence and impact of meningitis worldwide. It represents 43 member organisations across 28 countries around the world. Find a member organisation in your country or region.