Bacterial meningitis is a special type of meningitis. It is special, not because it is the most common type, but because it is the most fatal. For this reason, scientists work day and night to improve the effectivity of vaccines that protect against this type of meningitis as well as the treatments and preventative measures against the dangerous outcome of this disease, which can rapidly reach death.
As the name suggests, bacterial meningitis is the inflammation of the meninges that surround the brain, caused by some kind of bacteria. There are many types of bacteria that can cause meningitis, but the most common types are strains of streptococcus pneumonia, Neisseria meningitis, and Haemophilus influenza among other less common types. Scientists classify bacterial meningitis in various ways, and one of them is according to the age group of patients. We can categorize the population according the age group into newborn, infant and children, adults, and older adults.
1Causes and risk factors
Each of these categories can get infected by any of the aforementioned bacteria, but each category is most commonly affected by a certain type that is most likely behind bacterial meningitis. Group B streptococcus and streptococcus pneumonia are the most common cause of bacterial meningitis in newborns. Newborns can also get bacterial meningitis by E. coli bacteria, which is special to this age group. Babies and children commonly get bacterial meningitis from streptococcus pneumonia, Neisseria meningitis and Haemophilus influenza type b. Haemophilus influenza type b is not famous for infecting the age group of young adults, though. Bacterial meningitis is fatal, but fortunately it is not a common disease to get if you have a general good health. However, your chance of getting bacterial meningitis increase if you have certain risk factors.
Being an infant or newborn is one of the risk factors because babies have under developed immune system which can’t still fight and stop infection good enough. This is why governments around the world and the World Health Organization pay a lot of attention to this age group, and scientists work on vaccines to protect them from getting this infection. Bacteria that cause bacterial meningitis mostly can spread from one person to another, which makes it contagious. This is why another risk factor is being in close contact with someone who have bacterial meningitis caused by bacteria that can spread easily from one person to another. This is why sometimes bacterial meningitis can cause epidemics, especially in crowd places. A fatal disease capable of create an epidemic deserves top attention in every health sector of every country.