From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Meningitis
Mains level : NA
The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched the first-ever global strategy to defeat meningitis, a debilitating disease that kills hundreds of thousands of people each year.
What is Meningitis?
- Meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges, the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord.
- People of any age can get meningitis.
What Causes Meningitis?
- Most cases are caused by bacteria or viruses, but some can be due to certain medicines or illnesses.
- Meningitis is usually caused by a viral infection but can also be bacterial or fungal.
- Both kinds of meningitis spread like most other common infections do — someone who’s infected touches, kisses, or coughs or sneezes on someone who isn’t infected.
- Bacterial meningitis is rare, but is usually serious and can be life-threatening if not treated right away.
- Viral meningitis (also called aseptic meningitis) is more common than bacterial meningitis and usually less serious.
- Many of the viruses that cause meningitis are common, such as those that cause colds, diarrhea, cold sores, and the flu.
What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Meningitis?
- Meningitis symptoms vary, depending on the person’s age and the cause of the infection.
- The first symptoms can come on quickly or start several days after someone has had a cold, diarrhea, vomiting, or other signs of an infection.
Common symptoms include:
- lack of energy
- sensitivity to light
- stiff neck
- skin rash
- Several vaccines protect against meningitis, including meningococcal, Haemophilus influenzae type b and pneumococcal vaccines.
- If dealt with quickly, meningitis can be treated successfully.