Meningitis is an infection of the fluid of a person's spinal cord and the fluid that surrounds the brain. It is sometimes referred to as spinal meningitis. The disease is usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection. The severity of the disease depends on whether is caused by bacteria or virus.
Viral meningitis is usually less severe and can be cured without specific treatment, but bacterial meningitis is far more serious and may result in brain damage, hearing loss, learning disability or even death.
Early diagnosis and identifying the specific type of bacteria that caused the meningitis can be significant because antibiotics can prevent some types from spreading and infecting other people.
Meningitis, also known as meningococcal disease, strikes nearly 3,000 Americans annually. Adolescents and young adults are particularly at increased risk of getting infected. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 10 percent to 12 percent of bacterial meningitis cases are fatal, which amounts to about 350 cases annually. Among those who survive, about 20 percent suffer from long-term consequences such as brain damage, kidney disease, hearing loss or loss of limbs.
The disease is especially significant among college students, since studies show freshmen living in dorms are particularly vulnerable to meningococcal disease. Adolescents and young adults may be at increased risk for infection due to certain lifestyle factors, such as crowded living conditions such as dormitories; attending school at a new school from geographically diverse areas; sharing utensils or beverages; active or passive smoking and irregular sleeping patterns. Other high-risk groups include infants and young children, refugees, household contacts of case patients and military personnel.
Meningitis Malpractice Lawyers
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