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Meningitis Caused

Meningitis is an infection of the membranes covering the brain, and always when the membranes are inflamed and infected the brain becomes involved at the same time. Meningitis occurs frequently in epidemics spread by the
coughing and sneezing of grown ups or children who are carriers of the germs in their nasal passages and throats.

These people are themselves immune, but when others inhale the droplets coughed and sneezed by them, the victims develop meningitis. Meningitis may develop from infections of the face, nose or ears and may be caused by any germ besides the meningococcus germ.

Cultures from the nose and throat as well as blood cultures are needed to make certain which the causative germ is. Some cases of meningitis are caused by the tuberculosis germ. Keeping infections out of the body, especially from the nose and throat, and observing personal and general hygiene, will prevent these infections.

Carriers of meningococcus germs in their noses may easily be cured by simple irrigation and the use of a mild antiseptic, as neosilvol 5% solution, in the nose and throat. An attack of meningitis comes on with fever, severe headache, pain and oversensitiveness all over the body, stiffness of the neck and bending backward of the head; deafness and blindness may also develop.

There is nausea and vomiting, great restlessness and twitchings, sometimes convulsions and coma. For the epidemic form the Flexner antimeningococcus serum is of great help; the sulfa drugs and penicillin in large doses should be used from the very start.

The patient should be kept in bed in a darkened, quiet room, the bowels must be cleared by giving him citrate of magnesia or Epsom salt at first and then followed by a daily enema. The diet must be in liquid form, given every z or 3 hours, and consisting of strained cereals, diluted milk,fruit juices with egg stirred into them and plenty of water.

An icebag should be put on the patient's head and cool sponging of the body with dilute alcohol should be kept up steadily. With the present aid of sulfa and penicillin treatments some of the severest cases of meningitis recover.


Meninges refers to the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. These are three in number: the innermost one is called "pia mater," the middle "arachnoid," and the outer "dura mater."

The brain membranes become injured in fractures of the skull and often become swollen just from a slight injury to the head, as in case of concussion. When the membrane is injured and inflamed, it may involve the brain tissue itself. An infection of the brain membranes is called meningitis
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