What Is Meningitis in Teens?

Q:
What is meningitis in teens?

A:
Meningitis is inflammation of membranes around the brain and spinal cord. It is common among infants, teenagers and adults above 55 years old.
There are many types of meningitis:

  • Bacterial meningitis
  • Viral meningitis
  • Chronic meningitis
  • Fungal meningitis

Wherein bacterial meningitis is more common among teenagers. Bacterial meininitis is less common compared with other types, but it is severe, even threatening lives of teenagers.

Parents should watch out when the following signs appear:

  • High fever
  • Confusion
  • Being sensitive to light
  • Feeling stiffness in the neck
  • Vomiting
  • Severe headache
  • Skin rashes
  • Having no appetite or thirst

Sometimes less common symptoms may point to meningitis as well:

  • Joint and muscle pains
  • Sleepiness
  • Seizures

Partial symptoms are similar to those of flu.

Some bacteria are the most common causes to bacterial meningitis:

  • Streptococcus pneumonia (pneumococcus)
  • Neisseria meningitides (meningococcus)
  • Haemophilus influenzae (haemophilus)
  • Listeria monocytogenes (listeria)

To prevent the teenagers from meningitis, what you can do is:

  • Take meningococcal conjugate vaccine in advance. This is one of the most effective preventions.
  • Prevent close contact with those who already got infected.
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and disinfect hands with an alcohol-based sanitizer.
  • Avoid sharing utensils with others.
  • Eat healthy foods and get enough rest.
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking.
  • Stay hydrated.

If the teens are infected, instead of being worried the best thing you could do is to seek medical support immediately, and provide proper supportive treatment.

  • Take intravenous antibiotics immediately under the doctor’s direction. This is very important for bacterial meningitis.
  • Get in plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
  • Take relative medications in the hospital for other types of meningitis.

Contact doctors immediately if you suspect that you or your children are infected.

Key words: meningitis in teens; causes; symptoms; prevention.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.