Meningitis is a very serious infection that attacks the outer layer of the brain or the spinal cord. There are a few different causes of meningitis, including pneumococcal bacteria. These bacteria can attack your hearing, your heart valve and your respiratory organs as well.
This infection can damage your brain. Research says that pneumococcal meningitis often leads to hearing loss. It can cause paralysis and seizures as well.
Ten percent of people who get meningitis do not survive it even with treatment. So it’s crucial to get help as soon as you recognize the symptoms.
Here’s what you should look out for:
- Stiff neck
- Chest pain and coughing
- High fever
- Nausea and vomiting
- Irritability or confusion
You’re at a higher risk if you recently had pneumonia or an ear infection. Coming into contact with somebody who has those infections is a risk factor as well.
Because this is a bacterial infection, doctors can treat it with antibiotics. The faster a meningitis patient gets access to antibiotics, the higher their chances are of getting through the illness. Hence, you should keep the symptoms in mind and react immediately. After all, a false alarm is a much better option than neglected meningitis.
Pneumococcal meningitis often leads to hearing loss, learning disabilities, paralysis, as well as other forms of brain damage. So those who survive this condition have a chance of developing a long-term health issue.
However, you can find ways to treat the consequences of brain damage. Speech therapy, physical therapy and medication can help you recover from meningitis.
Keep in mind that you can get vaccinations against pneumococcal meningitis. This is a particularly good choice for children and people over 65.
But who should consider getting vaccinated? Your risk of getting this infection increases if you have a weakened respiratory system. Hence, smokers should look into this option as well. Diabetes and alcohol use put you at risk too.
In short, pneumococcal meningitis is an extremely dangerous infection. Typical warning signs include a high fever and stiffness in the neck. If you are at a heightened risk of contracting this illness, consider getting vaccinated against it.