an inflammation of the meninges due to infection by viruses or bacteria or fungi. Meningitis causes an intense headache, fever, loss of appetite, intolerance to light and sound, rigidity of muscles, especially those in the neck (see also Kernig's sign), and in severe cases convulsions, vomiting, and delirium leading to death. The most important causes of bacterial meningitis are Haemophilus influenzae (especially in young children); two strains of Neisseria meningitidis (the meningococcus), B and C; and Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcal meningitis). Immunization against Haemophilus meningitis, meningitis C, and pneumococcal meningitis is now routine for children (see Hib vaccine, meningitis C vaccine, pneumococcal vaccine); there is at present no vaccine available for meningitis B. In meningococcal meningitis (meningitis B and C, previously known as cerebrospinal fever and spotted fever) the symptoms appear suddenly and the bacteria can cause widespread meningococcal infection culminating in meningococcal septicaemia, with its characteristic purple haemorrhagic rash anywhere on the body. The rash does not disappear on pressure (if a glass is pressed on the rash, it is still visible through the glass). Unless quickly diagnosed and treated, death can occur within a few hours.
Bacterial meningitis is treated with antibiotics administered as soon as possible after diagnosis. With the exception of herpes simplex encephalitis (which is treated with aciclovir), viral meningitis does not respond to drugs but normally has a relatively benign prognosis.

The new mediacal dictionary. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Meningitis — Classification and external resources Meninges of the central nervous system: dura mater, arachnoid, and pia mater. ICD 10 G …   Wikipedia

  • Meningitis — Clasificación y recursos externos CIE 10 G00 G …   Wikipedia Español

  • Meningitis UK — is a national charity based in the United Kingdom. Its sole focus is on prevention and funding lifesaving research to eradicate all forms of meningitis. Contents 1 History of Meningitis UK 2 Research programme 3 Past breakthroughs …   Wikipedia

  • meningitis — f. neurol. Inflamación aguda o crónica de las meninges, en especial de la aracnoides y de la piamadre, así como del líquido contenido entre ambas membranas o el existente en el interior de los ventrículos cerebrales. Existen distintos tipos de… …   Diccionario médico

  • meningitis — (plural meningitis) sustantivo femenino 1. Área: medicina Inflamación de meninges: En el colegio ha habido tres casos de meningitis …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • Meningitis — Men in*gi tis, n. [NL. See {Meninges}, and { itis}.] (Med.) Inflammation of the membranes of the brain or spinal cord. [1913 Webster] {Cerebro spinal meningitis}. See under {Cerebro spinal}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Meningītis — (grch.), Gehirnhautentzündung (s. d.). M. spinalis, Rückenmarkshautentzündung …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Meningitis — Meningītis (grch.), Gehirnhautentzündung (s.d.); M. cerĕbro spinālis, Genickstarre (s.d.); M. spinalis, Rückenmarkshautentzündung, s. Rückenmarkskrankheiten …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • meningìtis — m pat. upala moždanih opni koju većinom uzrokuju bakterije i virusi [oboljeti od ∼a] …   Veliki rječnik hrvatskoga jezika

  • Meningitis — er en betændelse af hjernerygmarvshinderne. Sygdommen giver feber, hovedpine og nakkestivhed …   Danske encyklopædi

  • meningitis — (n.) inflammation of the meninges, 1825, coined from Mod.L. meninga, from Gk. meninx (gen. meningos) membrane, in medical Latin especially that of the brain (see MEMBER (Cf. member)) + ITIS (Cf. itis) disease. Related: Meningitic …   Etymology dictionary

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