Meningitis – How Is It Transmitted?

Meningitis is the inflammation of the meninges covering the brain and the spinal cord. It is also defined as an infection of the Pia-arachnoid mater that covers the brain and the spinal cord.

The common types of meningitis include:

1. Viral meningitis

2. Pneumococcal meningitis

3. Meningococcal meningitis

4. Tuberculous meningitis

5. Septic meningitis (As a result of streptococcus infection following Otitis Media, Head injury, Mastoiditis, etc)

6. Others include those caused by Escherichia Coli, staphylococci and Haemophilus influenza. Meningitis is generally grouped into bacterial and viral meningitis. 

Meningococcal vaccination is very important. If you want to know more about the meningococcal vaccine, then you can also visit https://www.travelvaccinationcentre.com.au/meningitis.html.

Image result for meningococcal vaccination

Image Source: Google

Causes

Meningitis is caused by pneumococcus, streptococcus, meningococcus (Neisseria Meningitides), Staphylococcus, E. coli, etc.

Mode of transmission

Meningitis is mostly transmitted through direct contact with bodily discharges (urine, nasal secretions, etc.) of the sufferer. It is an airborne disease (by inhalation of droplet particles). It can also occur following bacteremia from infectious agents traveling through the blood and choroids plexus.

It can also be by direct invasion as occurs in acute otitis media, mastoiditis, orbital cellulitis, upper respiratory tract infection, and osteomyelitis.

It may sometimes develop from contamination during the administration of spinal anesthesia, lumbar puncture or surgical procedures involving the central nervous system, and head injury. The commonest route of transmission is through the respiratory tract. It is, therefore, an infectious disease.

Incubation period

This depends on the causative organism. Usually, it takes about 48hrs for signs and symptoms to manifest. Haemophilus meningitis is insidious in onset and the patient's condition usually gets worse over a period of 4 to 5 days. Meningococcal meningitis, however, has a very rapid onset and can cause death within 8-12hours.