L16 — April 2011 — Managing Meningitis
Intro: Meningitis is an illness that can be very scary. It's an infection that can make people very, very sick. Babies who get the disease are at particular risk of getting dangerously ill because it can be tricky to diagnose and symptoms can escalate quickly. More on how to recognize and treat meningitis from Mayo Clinic.
A very smiley, very happy kid.
That sums up little Jimmy Morse (laughter). But when symptoms of meningitis hit, he became very lethargic.
He had a very high temp. 105 under the arm. And he was making a lot of moaning noises, and not acting like himself. Plus he had a rash on his stomach that spread all over his body.
Since Jimmy's a baby, he couldn't tell anyone if he had two other telltale signs of meningitis — headache and stiff neck.
Meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes around your brain and spinal cord.
Dr. Ritu Banerjee says meningitis can be caused by viruses or bacteria. Bacterial meningitis is more severe. The bacteria that cause meningitis typically live in our nose and airways. In rare cases, the bacteria can get into your bloodstream or meninges, which are the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Left untreated meningitis can cause brain damage and even death.
So it's vitally important to get emergency treatment fast. Jimmy did. His parents took him to the emergency department, where doctors diagnosed him with bacterial meningitis. He was admitted to the hospital where he stayed for seven days as he received IV antibiotics. When Jimmy got home, he continued oral antibiotics for five days. (sound) Jimmy was very lucky. He recovered from a very severe case of meningitis.
It was even more scary when the doctor started telling us that he must be destined to do something in this world because most kids don't make it through.
Back to his happy self after battling bacterial meningitis.
For Medical Edge, I'm Vivien Williams.
Dr. Banerjee says the best way to protect against bacterial meningitis is for children and adults to get routinely recommended vaccinations. And to prevent viral meningitis, wash hands often, don't share utensils — do the same things that help prevent cold or flu.
For more information, visit our website at…
STATIONS: Per the licensing agreement, please provide a link from your station's website to http://www.MayoClinic.org or voice tag "MayoClinic.org" for more information.