Which are the symptoms help to identify meningitis in children?

Which are the symptoms help to identify meningitis in children?

| |  Pediatric Infectious Disease Medicine

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Meningitis - is an inflammatory process that occurs in the membranes of the brain or spinal cord, the cause of which is a penetration of specific pathogens in the cranial cavity. The disease can begin to develop as a result of contact with the bacteria, viral and fungal microorganisms inside the skull with blood flow. Arises disease most often against the backdrop of a weakened immune system. Also cause inflammation of the meninges may be damage to the skull (cranial trauma).

Since the child's body is formed from birth and up to 12-15 years, it is peculiar to deal with various diseases, because the immune system is not developed enough and not as strong as in adults. Therefore, it can be assumed that for children meningitis (serous, bacterial) is a more serious disease. And today experts managed to identify risk groups, which include more prone to inflammation of the brain children:

  • Premature babies;
  • Children with disorders of the nervous system;
  • Children with severe spinal cord injuries, brain.

Therefore, professionals need to very carefully inspect children who fall under one of these categories. The disease will be easier to overcome, to prevent its development and complications, if the timely identification the first signs of illness.

Forms and types of inflammation

Meningitis as inflammatory disease is classified into several types and forms. Depending on the nature of the origin of the disease, there are three forms of the disease:

  • Viral;
  • Bacterial;
  • Fungal.

In the pathogenesis of the disease is divided into three types:

  • Meningitis primary, which may arise on the background of the general predisposition without express preexisting disease of an infectious nature;
  • Secondary, developing on the background of complications after suffering illness;
  • Inflammation of the membranes of the brain / spinal cord, which has become a consequence of viruses and injuries.

There are three varieties of disease which are classified, depending on the anatomy:

  • If the inflammation has concerned soft meninges - leptomeningitis.
  • In cases where the disease struck hard meninges - pachymeningitis.
  • Rare form of inflammation, where the process affects only the arachnoid - arachnoiditis.

Depending on the nature of the pathological process, the disease is classified as follows:

  • Serous meningitis - under a inflamed sheath is accumulated a serous fluid, consisting of pus and other impurities;
  • Purulent meningitis, in which inflammatory processes are accompanied by changes in the composition of the cerebrospinal fluid.

Disease Symptoms

The list of factors that are symptoms of meningitis in children and adolescents, is large enough. It is rather difficult at first to diagnose the disease, as it has a certain resemblance to the common cold.

So, the main indicators of inflammation in the body are:

  • High temperature, up to 38-40 degrees;
  • Fever;
  • Strong headache;
  • Multiple vomiting;
  • At external manifestation of the disease may be a rash in the form small pink spots with typical bloody points;
  • Pain and muscle tone;
  • In infants - crying, refusal to eat, the reluctance of contact, pale face with spots, bending the legs at an inclination of the head;
  • In children 2 years and older disease is accompanied by sudden vomiting, photophobia, hypersensitivity to sound, headache, fever, chills, confusion and convulsions.


Symptoms specific to each form of the disease

Serous meningitis in children aged 5 to 15 years of age may manifest as:

  • Characteristic for acute respiratory symptoms (pain and redness in the throat, scratchy, runny nose, cough), which is an indicator that the viral pathogen got into the body through the respiratory ways;
  • Disturbances in the digestive system (frequent diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, bloating, abdominal pain) -  pathogenic bacteria enter the body by eating contaminated liquid and food;
  • A significant increase in body temperature, which is difficult to reduce using conventional methods;
  • Loss of appetite, the child becomes irritable, moody and cries a lot;
  • Hallucinations against the backdrop of a fever;
  • Hearing impairment;
  • Increased sensitivity, which is expressed in the fact that at every touch the child will react fearfully;
  • Loss of consciousness, if not provided timely assistance and serous meningitis, not identified at the first sign.

Symptoms of Meningitis, that occur most often in children of specific age groups:

  • In newborns strongly bulging fontanelle, may be myocarditis, observed neurological disorders;
  • Kids from birth to 6 months suffer in viral meningitis from diarrhea, which is caused by enteroviruses;
  • In children from 1 year to 3 years can be observed a convulsive disorder and paralytic symptoms similar to poliomyelitis;
  • In children older than three years the viral and serous meningitis, can be identified by a strong headaches, excessive muscle tone, rash, increased blood pressure.

Options for Treatment of the Disease

If you have identified at your child viral serous meningitis, consult a specialist immediately. Remember that self-medication for this disease is not recommended. Get rid of the disease of infants, children and adolescents 2-10 years old can be only in accordance recommendations of the doctor, and under the supervision of specialists. Therefore, treatment of the disease is only possible on an outpatient basis. This treatment usually consists of a causal treatment, pathogenetic methods of treatment, diet and special treatment.

Viral serous meningitis appears on the background of the defeat of the viral pathogen, and therefore the program for the treatment of meningitis may include preparations antiviral action. In addition, the course may include therapies to strengthen the immune system.

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