The symptoms of meningitis develop over some time and depend on the age of the person and the cause responsible for the infection. Some symptoms such as common flu are similar for both bacterial and viral meningitis earlier in their development and quick diagnosis should be conducted to determine whether it is bacterial because bacterial meningitis are deadly. Upon contracted meningitis, the symptoms might take several days before they surface. These symptoms are fever, seizures, headache, and photophobia among others.
However, in babies these symptoms might be difficult to observe and they may become irritated, have decreased consciousness commonly referred to as lethargy and experience fever. Other symptoms observable with infants may be poor feeding, jaundice, continuous crying, and neck rigidity. Viral meningitis is usually accompanied by continuous running nose and may be difficult to diagnose (Hirsch, para 10). Meningococcal meningitis is characterized by rashes. This rash result from a fatal bloodstream infection called septicemia. This condition occurs as a result of uncontrolled multiplication of bacteria in the bloodstream.
The bacteria discharge toxins into the blood vessels damaging the walls and eventually leading to leakage into the skin which causes hemorrhagic rash. This rash can attack parts of the body such as the eyes and between the toes. The rashes initially begin as small blood spots and may grow and eventually leading to bleeding (ehealthMD, para 3). Treatment Because of the seriousness of bacterial meningitis, any suspicion of the illness should be immediately reported to the doctor. Before determining whether the illness is viral or bacterial, doctors separate patients with meningitis symptoms and subjects them antibiotic treatment.
If viral meningitis is diagnosed, this treatment is stopped because antibiotics do not treat viral illnesses. Viral meningitis has no treatment and therefore measures aimed at reducing fever and relieving pain is encouraged. These measures may include having rests and good nutrition. Patients diagnosed with bacterial meningitis are subjected to further antibiotic treatments. These patients at times are given medication aimed at controlling seizures in situations where the illness is severe. In situations where the there is massive pressure in the skull, a tube is inserted inside the meninges to reduce the pressure (Meadow and Sunstein, pp45).
Bacterial meningitis is accompanied by complications which require additional medication and treatment. Such complication as shock and low blood pressure require that additional fluids be given in order to boost blood pressure. Other cases might require additional oxygen and ventilation to ease breathing problems. Continuous follow-ups in such cases where the illness has led to neurological complications such as hearing failure, visual loss, and seizure are advised (Meadow and Sunstein, pp50).