Meningitis is a bacterial infection of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. A family who lived in Geneva, Switzerland was first diagnosed with the disease in 1805. It was not until 1866, that the disease traveled its way into the United States. Professor Anton Weichselbaum discovered the cause of cerebro-spinal meningitis illness in 1887. There are five types of meningitis: bacterial meningitis, viral meningitis, parasitic meningitis, fungal meningitis, and non-infectious meningitis. Bacterial meningitis and Viral meningitis are the two most common and serious types of meningitis.
Bacteria meningitis is caused by bacteria. There are several types of pathogens that can cause bacterial meningitis: Haemophilus influenzae, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Listeria monocytogenes. Some of the symptoms of Bacteria meningitis are nausea, vomiting, increased sensitivity to light, and confusion. Bacteria meningitis can be life threatening and result in the need of medical attention. It is also contagious and can be treated with antibiotics.
Viral meningitis is more common, than Bacterial meningitis and is sometimes referred to as “aseptic meningitis.” Viruses, like enteroviruses and herpes simplex viruses, cause viral meningitis. Viral meningitis occurs mostly in children younger than the age of five. The most common cause of viral meningitis is enteroviruses, which is most often spread from person to person through fecal contamination. There is no specific treatment for Viral meningitis. It is just like any other virus, it runs its course for about 7 to 10 days. To prevent from getting Viral meningitis, you should wash your hands thoroughly, especially after changing diapers and using the bathroom, and avoid sharing items with sick people or when you are sick, such as eating utensils.
Both bacterial and viral meningitis show similar signs and symptoms, but bacterial meningitis is more severe and fatal. There are vaccines for some of the types of bacteria that cause bacterial meningitis. There are no vaccines for the most common cause of viral meningitis, so the best way to prevent it is to not get a viral infection.
Works Cited Page
1. 2.http://www.ehow.com/about_5234584_meningitis-first-discovered_.html 2. 3.http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/9276.php
3. 4.http://www.news-medical.net/health/History-of-Meningitis.aspx 4. 5.http://www.meningitis-trust.org/meningitis-info/types-and-causes/ 5. 6.http://www.cdc.gov/meningitis/index.html