Meningitis in Young Adults

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Meningitis in Young Adults

The risk of developing meningitis is lower in young adults than in younger children. This is mainly because circumstances have changed. During school years, individuals exposed to the disease are likely to be in crowded settings such as schools and college dorms. However, young adults who do not live in these environments are still at risk. Older people and assisted living facilities with weakened immune systems are also at risk. Daycare workers and teachers may also come into contact with infected individuals.

Fungal meningitis

Symptoms of fungal meningitis are similar to those of general meningitis, including fever, stiff neck, and headache. While a fever is usually lower than 100 F, the infection can also cause meningitis in preemies. In addition, the condition is more likely to develop in people with weakened immune systems. Your healthcare provider will ask you to describe your symptoms and perform a series of tests, including a blood test and a spinal tap.

Although fungal meningitis is sporadic, it can occur in susceptible hosts, including those with compromised immune systems and people who have undergone immunosuppressive medications or invasive procedures. In some cases, fungal meningitis has been reported in hosts without any underlying medical conditions. Cryptococcus species are endemic to the United States and are responsible for about 10% of fungal infections that affect the central nervous system.

Bacterial meningitis

Treatment for bacterial meningitis involves antibiotics. A healthcare provider may also administer antiepileptic medicines and a spinal tap to determine the presence of bacteria. Fortunately, prompt treatment of bacterial meningitis can save a patient's life. Treatment typically involves antibiotics administered via a vein or an infusion through a catheter. Treatment may also include plenty of fluids and supportive care.

The most common group of people at risk for bacterial meningitis are infants and young children. Although it is rare to contract the disease as an adult, some risk factors increase your risk. For example, if you have a history of frequent colds or a weak immune system, you are at risk for pneumococcal meningitis. If you are traveling abroad, consult your doctor to ensure you are not susceptible to the disease.

Parasitic meningitis

Infection with a parasite known as Naegleria fowleri can cause the disease. This organism lives in warm freshwater sources, soil, and wastewater discharged from industrial sources. It can also be transmitted through poorly treated swimming pools. The symptoms of parasitic meningitis include fever, headache, and stiff neck. There is no specific cure for the disease, but supportive care can help minimize pain and suffering.

People with EM caused by parasites typically experience a headache, stiff neck, and altered mental status. In addition to headaches, patients may experience neck stiffness and tingle in their skin. Some patients will experience a low-grade fever, photophobia, and altered mental status. The condition can also cause visual disturbances and paraesthesia. There is no cure for parasitic meningitis, but early detection is essential for minimizing the risk of complications.