According the the CDC, Meningitis is a disease caused by the inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord known as the meninges. The inflammation is usually caused by an infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Meningitis is also referred to as spinal meningitis.
Meningitis is an infection that can be either bacterial or viral in nature, but its effects on the human body can be equally as troublesome for those infected. That being said there are many strains of bacteria that have the potential to create meningitis infection in people.
Most of the bacteria and virus bodies that cause meningitis infections are said to be those that are commonly found on each and every one of us in our daily lives. As people we are constantly covered in bacteria and virus bodies without even knowing it, because for the most part they are not able to attack us due to our immune system suppressing their advances, and also because they may not have reached the point at which they attack (ie. open cuts/scrapes, or mucus membranes where they can easily enter the body). Most of the bacteria and viruses that cause meningitis in patients are usually found around the mouth, nose and sinus areas of people, but leaving them unaffected. Sometimes these microbial bodies can cause your minor colds and sinus infections. So when does it turn into meningitis? It turns into meningitis when the bacterial and viral bodies enter the brain and or brain lining, causing swelling, inflammation and possible brain damage. Those interested in testing for meningitis should see a doctor or use a meningitis test kit.
Typical causes of meningitis include chemical irritation, drug allergies, fungi, tumors, bacterial and viral infections. Viral infection occurs on a more frequent basis than bacterial infection. Acute bacterial infection is less frequently seen and requires immediate hospitalization and professional medical treatment.
Watch Causes Of Meningitis with Steven Beutler, MD to learn more. Also see, how to get rid of infections.