Overview of Meningitis

Meningitis Meaning in Urdu

گردن توڑ بخار ریڑھ کی ہڈی اور دماغ میں موجود اور ان کے اردگرد جھلیوں اور سیال کے انفیکشن اور سوزش کا نام ہے۔ اس بیماری کی وجہ سے زیادہ تر سر درد، بخار، اور گردن کے اکڑن یا تناؤ کا سامنا کرنا پڑتا ہے۔ اس کے علاوہ گردن توڑ بخار کی وجہ سے متلی، قے، چلنے میں مشکلات،  اور بھوک میں کمی بھی لاحق ہو سکتی ہے۔ یہ بیماری زیادہ تر وائرل انفیکشن کی وجہ سے لاحق ہوتی ہے، جب کچھ لوگوں کو یہ بیکٹیریا اور پیرا سائٹس کی وجہ سے بھی لاحق ہو سکتی ہے۔

Meningitis is the inflammation of the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. A viral or bacterial infection in the fluid around the brain and spinal cord usually causes this inflammation. Head injuries, some types of cancer, and drugs can also cause the inflammation of the protective membranes. 

The treatment of meningitis depends upon the exact type of meningitis.

Transmission of Meningitis 

Meningitis, either viral or bacterial can spread through: 

  • Sneezing 
  • Coughing 
  • Sharing utensils, cutlery, and toothbrushes 
  • Close Contact 

Are there any vaccinations available for meningitis? 

Vaccination for meningitis can provide some extent of protection against it. These vaccinations can include: 

  • Meningitis B Vaccine  
  • 6-in-1 vaccine 
  • Pneumococcal vaccine 
  • Hib/MenC vaccine 
  • MMR vaccine 
  • Meningitis ACWY vaccine 

Signs and Symptoms of Meningitis

The symptoms of meningitis develop suddenly and consist of: 

  • High fever 
  • Headaches 
  • A rash ( this may or may not appear) 
  • Stiffness in neck 
  • Light sensitivity 
  • Unresponsiveness o dizziness 
  • Seizures 
  • Headache with nausea or vomiting 
  • Difficulty in concentrating 
  • Lessor has no appetite or thirst

Like adults, this disorder can also develop in newborn babies. Look out for these symptoms in a newborn child:

  • High fever 
  • Increased fussiness 
  • Highly irritable 
  • Prolonged sleeping
  • Inactive and sluggish 
  • Poor eating 
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting 
  • You might also notice a bulge in the soft spot on your baby’s head 

Types of Meningitis

Meningitis is an inflammation of the protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. There are several types of meningitis, which can be classified based on the cause of the infection:

  • Bacterial meningitis: This is the most severe form of meningitis and can be caused by various types of bacteria, including Streptococcus pneumoniae, Neisseria meningitidis, and Haemophilus influenzae type b.
  • Viral meningitis: This is a common form of meningitis and is usually caused by viruses such as enteroviruses and herpes simplex virus.
  • Fungal meningitis: This is a rare form of meningitis and is caused by fungi such as Cryptococcus neoformans and Candida species.
  • Parasitic meningitis: This is also a rare form of meningitis and is caused by parasites such as Naegleria fowleri and Acanthamoeba species.
  • Non-infectious meningitis: This is a type of meningitis that is not caused by an infection and can be due to conditions such as lupus, certain medications, and cancers.

It is important to note that the symptoms and severity of meningitis can vary depending on the type of meningitis and the individual affected.

Causes of Meningitis

There are the following 6 types of meningitis: 

  • Bacterial Meningitis 

This type of meningitis is caused by bacteria and requires immediate medical attention. It can be fatal if timely treatment is not provided. There are now vaccines available that help provides protection against this type. 

  • Viral Meningitis 

This type of meningitis is less severe than bacterial meningitis. People having a strong immune system can get better on their own without consulting their doctor. Also, there are vaccines available that can provide you protection against some kinds of viral meningitis. 

  • Fungal Meningitis 

Fungal meningitis is a rare type of meningitis and usually affects people with some underlying medical conditions like diabetes, HIV, or cancer. People usually acquire this type of meningitis by inhaling fungal spores present in the environment. 

  • Parasitic Meningitis 

This type of meningitis is relatively rare than both viral and bacterial meningitis and can affect the brain and nervous system. 

  • Amebic Meningitis 

Primary Amebic Meningitis (PAM) is rare meningitis and is caused by Naegleria fowleri. It causes much damage to the brain. 

  • Non- Infectious Meningitis 

Sometimes, injuries, certain types of cancers, and drugs and brain surgery can cause meningitis. 


Risk Factors of Meningitis

Possible risk factors for meningitis can include: 

  • Incomplete Vaccination course 
  • Age- children under 5 years of age are more prone to viral meningitis whereas  
  • Bacterial meningitis is common in individuals under the age of 20 years
  • Living in group settings
  • Pregnancy 
  • A weak immune system 

Health Complications of Meningitis 

Some possible complications of meningitis are: 

  • Compromised memory 
  • Hearing loss 
  • Brain damage 
  • Seizure/ shock  
  • Kidney failure 
  • Learning issues 
  • Imbalance



While there is no foolproof way to prevent meningitis, there are several steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing the condition:

  • Get vaccinated: Vaccines can protect against several strains of bacterial meningitis, including pneumococcal meningitis and meningococcal meningitis. Consult with a medical professional to determine which vaccines are appropriate for you.
  • Practice good hygiene: Practice good hygiene by washing your hands regularly, covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and avoiding close contact with individuals who are sick.
  • Avoid sharing personal items: Avoid sharing personal items, such as utensils, drinking glasses, or lip balm, with others.
  • Stay healthy: Maintain a healthy immune system by getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, and exercising regularly.
  • Seek medical attention: Seek medical attention promptly if you experience symptoms of meningitis, such as fever, headache, neck stiffness, and confusion. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent serious complications.


Consult your doctor immediately if you exhibit the above-mentioned symptoms. Your doctor will generally diagnose this by first asking about your medical history and performing a physical examination. he/she would also check for any neck stiffness and rash. 

After the initial examination, you would also ask for the following:

  • Blood tests to identify any bacteria 
  • CT Scan or MRI scans of your head to find any inflammation or swelling 
  • Spinal tap- this is a procedure in which a sample is taken from the fluid around your spinal cord. This test tells the cause of meningitis.

Treatment of Meningitis | When to Consult a Doctor

The treatment of meningitis depends upon the cause of meningitis. 

Bacterial meningitis is treated through antibiotics. Viral meningitis usually goes away without any medical assistance. Some antiviral medications can also be prescribed by your medical specialist. Similarly, for fungal meningitis, anti-fungal medication is used.