You may remember being immunized against meningitis before you came to collage. But what do you really know about it? Meningitis is a disease caused by either bacteria or a virus, typically spread through breath or kissing (that’s why they immunize collage students). Viral meningitis tends to be less severe than bacterial meningitis, which can result in brain damage, hearing loss or learning disabilities. (1)
This disease is extremely deadly, and thus most of the younger generations are immunized against this. When the infecting bacteria enter some of the protective layers of the brain (called meninges), the body produces an inflammatory immune response. When your body does this, it recruits a lot of white blood cells and other immune cells to fight the infection, and this causes severe swelling. The swelling causes pressure to build up within the skull, compressing and damaging the brain.
Thus, most common symptoms of meningitis are a very sudden fever, headache and a stiff neck. If you or anyone you know seems to display these symptoms it is vital that they seek medical attention. Meningitis symptoms often become evident within ours of infection, and can kill someone in 48hrs.
Fortunately, if caught early, meningitis can be treated with antibiotics and the risk of dying from meningitis can be reduced to below 15% . (1)