What are the symptoms of meningitis diagnosed?

Once the doctors of the Middle Ages were forcedto make diagnoses, being guided only by complaints and those symptoms, to check which invented ingenious scientists. Then even the diagnosis of diabetes was set, based on the urine sample of the patient tastes: sweet urine - high blood sugar. Later, various methods were invented to help the physician in diagnosis, including laboratory studies. Since that time, a lot of diseases have been described, and some symptoms may well have come up under several diseases with different mechanisms and treatment.

Why this foreword? To find the answer to the question: "What are the symptoms of meningitis?", You did not hurry to take or make a diagnosis, which is confirmed only on the basis of a lumbar puncture.The signs and symptoms that lead to the puncture will be described below.

Why lumbar puncture?

What are the symptoms of meningitis?
Meningitis is serous and purulent. Often, without puncture, it is impossible to distinguish them, meanwhile the treatment of these two variants of the disease is radically different. Even the presence of a characteristic hemorrhagic rash does not mean that a person has developed meningitis. This can only mean that a person has meningococcal (less often pneumococcal or hemophilic-induced) sepsis, in which meningitis develops almost always, but not the fact that he is now. The very same disease is very dangerous and without meningitis, so if you see a rash on yourself or someone from your relatives, do not waste time reading what the symptoms of meningitis are, call for an ambulance.

In addition, with puncture, a smallthe amount of cerebrospinal fluid, some of it will be sent to a bacteriological study, according to which in 3-5 days it will be clear which microbe caused the disease and on what antibiotic it is worth changing the existing therapy. If serous meningitis is determined, 0.5 ml of CSF can be sent for a PCR study to the genome of herpes simplex virus, cytomegalovirus and Epstein-Barr, which are the most life-threatening pathogens of meningitis.

Symptoms of meningitis
What are the symptoms of meningitis?

The disease can begin with catarrhal phenomena: coughing, runny nose, stuffy nose, sore throat. The first symptoms of getting a microbe in the body (these are not symptoms of the disease of meningitis) can be a rise in body temperature, weakness, lethargy, a rash of a non-allergic nature or signs characteristic of "childhood" viral infections: measles, rubella, chicken pox. Sometimes at the beginning of the disease can be purulent otitis, sinusitis or phlegmon soft tissues of the face or jaw.

The first symptoms of meningitis are:

- occurrence of a strong headache in temples,forehead or in the whole head; pain is exacerbated by uplifts, turns of the head. Can amplify with loud sounds, light (photophobia), pressing on eyeballs. Such pain is removed with anesthetic drugs at first for a short while, and then completely ceases to react to them;

- increase in body temperature: characteristic - up to high figures, but this is not always the case: it all depends on the microbe and the state of the body, its protective system;

- lethargy, weakness, drowsiness;

- increased skin sensitivity: a normal touch to the patient is unpleasant.

- nausea, vomiting without any connection with the food received on the previous day.

Infectious meningitis symptoms
In young children, the first symptoms of meningitiscan become monotonous crying, anxiety, giving up the breast, bulging out a large fontanel. The baby becomes whiny or so sleepy that it is difficult to wake him up, takes a pose with his head thrown back in bed, resists if you take it on the handles. Sometimes the only sign of meningitis in a child may be seizures against a background of not much fever.

The following symptoms of meningitis in adults are:

- a disturbance of consciousness: this may be inadequate against a background of excitement, which is then replaced by depression of consciousness down to a coma, when a person does not react even to strong stimuli;

- convulsions: against the background of meningitis, they also occur in adults;

- delirium;

- hallucinosis;

- pose on the side with the head thrown back and the legs bent.

Infectious meningitis: symptoms

Meningococcus is the only pathogen that, transmitted by airborne droplets from a patient with meningitis, can cause meningitis in another person (for other microbes this is casuistic cases).

For meningococcal meningitis are characteristicthe symptoms described above. They can appear both acute and 1-2 days after the onset of a purulent cold on the background of the phenomena of severe intoxication and a rise in temperature.

Another symptom that occurs whenmeningococcal meningitis, there may be a rash. It is called hemorrhagic, that is, due to the impregnation of the blood of the skin (I must say that such impregnations occur in the internal organs, including the adrenal glands and the brain).

Rash:

a) rises above the skin;

b) do not turn pale when stretching the skin under it or pressing on it with glass (for example, a glass);

c) it does not itch;

d) usually begins with the buttocks, then - the legs, forearms, hands and feet, gradually spreads to the entire body;

e) it is characterized by the fusion of several elements and the emergence of necrosis - the areas of dead skin.

What are the symptoms of meningitis checked by a doctor?

  1. Rigidity of the neck muscles. In the norm (if there is no pathology of the cervical spine) in the supine position a person can get his chin to the sternum. If this is not possible, the symptom is considered positive.
  2. If, in checking the first symptom, the legs are bent at the knees and pulled to the stomach, this too may indicate meningitis.
  3. It is impossible to unbend the leg in the knee, previously bent at the knee and hip joints.
  4. When pressing on the bones over the pubis, the legs bend.
  5. Children are tested for this symptom instead ofprevious: take his armpits, holding the head, he pulls the legs to the chest and so keeps them (normally the child moves the legs, bends them and unbends).
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