Signs of meningitis
A Meningitis, also meningitis called, is an infectious disease in which bacteria, viruses or other pathogens cause the Meninges and the membranes of the spinal cord are inflamed. As relatively common disease there are typical signs of meningitis. Therefore, a detailed anamnesis and clinical examination are important at the beginning in order to quickly identify typical signs and make a diagnosis.
The main symptoms of classic meningitis are the following signs during the disease: severe a headache, fever with temperatures above 40 ° C and Meningism. Meningism means one Neck stiffnessin which bending the head forward Pain in the neck and is the typical sign of meningitis. In addition, there are often other symptoms such as Photophobia, Sensitivity to noise and general Body aches in front. Also Impaired consciousness can be signs of meningitis.
All of these symptoms can be expressed in different ways. This is how a bacterial Meningitis high acute represent that viral meningitis rather runs creeping.
Particular attention must be paid to this Age of the patient. While in adults typical signs of meningitis predominate, in children or babies symptoms may be weakened or completely absent, which makes the diagnosis more difficult. If a tick bite is the cause, additional signs appear on the skin.
Typical signs in adults
Meningitis in adults produces typical symptoms in most cases. Often there is a beginning strong headachethat together with Body aches and Shy of light and loud noises occur. It lets itself in Meningism prove. This is shown by stiffness and Pain in the neckespecially when the head is bent forward or the legs are drawn up.
If bacteria or viruses are the cause, the symptoms of meningitis can develop within hours and develop into a highly acute clinical picture, whereby viral meningitis often heals spontaneously.
Typical signs of meningitis in adults are also accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea and Vomit, Back pain and muscle pain. The signs of meningitis in adults are crucial for diagnosis and therapy.
Read more on this topic at: Meningitis symptoms
Typical signs in the child
Meningitis presents itself in the child similar to the adult. It is important to distinguish it from infants, since in babies there are other, not necessarily typical, signs of meningitis.
At a Meningitis in children usually the usual signs appear, especially the Meningism, a headache and fever belong. Here it is important to measure the temperature regularly, as a high fever can be more dangerous in children than in adults. Typical signs of Photophobia and one Hypersensitivity to sounds. This can manifest itself through frequent retreats into the dark nursery.
In addition, there is a rare but especially among children and young adults dreaded complication meningitis that only occurs in by menigococci, a type of bacteria, caused meningitis. It's about that Waterhouse-Friderichsen Syndromewhich can be seen externally through typical signs such as skin bleeding, fever and loss of consciousness. This complication is life threatening, however, occurs Rare on. However, the child is more likely to do so.
Typical signs in babies
The signs of a Meningitis in the baby differ considerably from the typical signs as observed in the adult or child. Where an existing one in older patients Meningism the strongest typical sign of meningitis is this is usually absent in babies. Since there is no question of pain, other signs of meningitis must be observed.
In the case of a baby, there is one thing in particular lethargy on. The baby is listless and less responsive to the environment. This can include signs such as Poor drinking and a decreased food intake Be an expression of meningitis. Also can with the baby Vomit and a difficult breathing to be watched.
In the course of the disease, there are other signs that indicate advanced meningitis. In this phase it comes to shrill screamswhich alternates with consciousness-impaired phases. Seizures can occur.
A sign of increased intracranial pressure in the baby, as can occur with meningitis, is one bulging fontanel. If you notice changes in the baby that cannot be explained otherwise, a pediatrician should be consulted immediately, as meningitis can also hide behind this.
Read more on this topic at: Symptoms of meningitis in the baby
Typical signs after a tick bite
A common way of transmitting bacteria that can cause meningitis is a tick bite. The likelihood of infection increases the longer the tick has been in the skin, even if only 10% of those infected develop the full picture of the disease. Therefore, a tick should always be removed as soon as possible.
To be precise, meningitis after a tick bite is a special form of meningitis, early summer meningoencephalitis (TBE). There are typical signs of this as well. First of all, a fever occurs after the tick bite, which is accompanied by a general feeling of illness. After about 1 week of fever, there is a fever-free interval, which can be followed by a second rise in fever. In this case, there is TBE, which is a serious complication after a tick bite. If the second rise in fever does not occur, the infection is over.
Read more on the subject at: Fever after a tick bite
Depending on the extent of the involvement of the meninges and spinal cords, headaches, photophobia, meningism and nausea can occur, similar to classic meningitis. Other typical signs include pain and tingling in the arms and legs, and paralysis. Disturbances in consciousness are signs that the brain is also affected.
The therapy is symptomatic, but this form of meningitis usually heals spontaneously, especially in children. It is important to examine the skin for a tick bite after every walk in the forest.