Meningitis is the inflammation of the membranes covering the brain. Meningitis can appear because of viruses or bacteria but also from non –infectious causes. There are drugs or diseases like AIDS, cancer that destroy the immune system and may cause meningitis.

The bacterial meningitis is more serious than viral ones because of the effects. It can cause brain damage, limb amputation or disabilities in learning. One of the most common bacteria that trigger this type of meningitis is Neisseria meningitidis. The causes of bacterial meningitis are different depending on the age. Guilty for this condition in newborns cases are: escherichia coli, listeria monocytogenes. In infant’s cases, bacterial meningitis is caused by neisseria meningitidis and Streptococcus pneumoniae. These 2 bacteria are common in adult cases too along with mycobacteria.

The treatment of bacterial meningitis includes antibiotics and in this way the risk of dying from this disease is visible reduced.

The prevention of bacterial meningitis includes home prevention such as : getting enough sleep, avoiding eating aliments made from unpasteurized milk and the second one, more scientific : vaccines. The are 3 types of bacteria that can be vaccinated. Against Neisseria meningitides, against Pneumococcal and against Haemophilus influenzae type b, also referred to as Hib . The Hib vaccine can also prevent pneumonia and throat infections.

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The viral meningitis can solve without specific medication. There are some types of viruses that cause it like: herpesvirus, varicella-zoster virus (also the cause of chickenpox), influenza, and mumps. Mosquitoes help the spreading of the viruses. In this case treatment with antibiotics doesn’t help. In order to prevent viral meningitis it is important to avoid viral infections meaning: avoid mosquito’s bites, wash your hands, don’t share glasses, lipstick; try to prevent rats infestation. Don’t forget to clean exposed objects like : remote control, or doorknobs .

There is another type of meningitis: the fungal meningitis and though this type is very rare, it is very dangerous. The most common cause is a low immune system, that’s why people with leukemia and AIDS are prone to develop this illness. Some types of soil contain the fungus Coccidioides or Histoplasma which are responsible for this disease. The treatment of fungal meningitis takes long periods of time and needs hospitalization. For those with low immunity the treatment will last even longer. In order to prevent the infection with fungi it is better to avoid dust and bird droppings. For patients that have AIDS a dose of antifungal prophylaxis may be needed.

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