What causes baby meningitis?

Many different types of bacteria can cause bacterial meningitis. In newborns, the most common causes are group B strep, E. coli, and less commonly, Listeria monocytogenes. In older kids, Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) and Neisseria meningitidis (meningococcus) are often the causes.

How does a baby get meningitis?

Your baby can get meningitis when bacteria, viruses, or a fungus infecting another part of their body travels in the bloodstream to their brain and spinal cord. Out of 1,000 live births, about 0.1 to 0.4 neonates (a baby less than 28 days old) get meningitis, estimates a 2017 review.

How do I know if my baby has meningitis?

Common signs & symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia in babies and toddlers.

  1. Fever, cold hands and feet.
  2. Refusing food and vomiting.
  3. Fretful, dislike being handled.
  4. Drowsy, floppy, unresponsive.
  5. Rapid breathing or grunting.
  6. Pale, blotchy skin. Spots/rash.
  7. Unusual cry, moaning.
  8. Tense, bulging fontanelle (soft spot)

What is the most common cause of meningitis?

Viral infections are the most common cause of meningitis, followed by bacterial infections and, rarely, fungal and parasitic infections.

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Can a 1 year old get meningitis?

If your child is two months to two years old: This is the most common age for meningitis.

How can you prevent meningitis in babies?

Help protect babies from meningitis and other illnesses with these tips: People who have cold sores or who are prone to cold sores should avoid kissing babies. Keep babies away from people who are sick or who are coughing, sneezing, or not feeling well. Keep the baby away from large crowds of people whenever possible.

How do you rule out meningitis?

a physical examination to look for symptoms of meningitis. a blood test to check for bacteria or viruses. a lumbar puncture – where a sample of fluid is taken from the spine and checked for bacteria or viruses. a CT scan to check for any problems with the brain, such as swelling.

What does the start of meningitis look like?

A petechial rash looks like pin-prick red or purple spots on the skin, and can resemble flea bites. A purpuric rash looks more like bruising, showing up as reddish-purple areas on the skin.

How long can you have meningitis without knowing?

The first symptoms of viral meningitis typically appear between 3 to 7 days after being exposed to the infection. Symptoms of bacterial meningitis appear and progress quickly – bacterial meningitis is the most dangerous type of meningitis, and the infection progresses the fastest.

Does meningitis go away by itself?

Viral meningitis (when meningitis is caused by a virus) is the most common type of meningitis. Most people get better on their own without treatment. However, anyone with symptoms of meningitis should see a doctor right away because any type of meningitis can be serious.

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What age group is at highest risk for contracting meningitis?

Anyone can get meningococcal disease, but rates of disease are highest in children younger than 1 year old, with a second peak in adolescence. Among teens and young adults, those 16 through 23 years old have the highest rates of meningococcal disease.

Can you have meningitis and not know it?

Meningitis can be mistaken for the flu, dehydration, or gastroenteritis. It can also be overlooked because symptoms may be mild or not always apparent.

What happens if a baby gets meningitis?

Bacterial meningitis is inflammation of the layers of tissue surrounding the brain and spinal cord (meninges) caused by bacteria. Newborns with bacterial meningitis are usually irritable, vomit, or may have seizures.

What is the treatment for meningitis in babies?

Treatment to ease symptoms includes rest, fluids, and over-the-counter pain medicine. If bacterial meningitis is diagnosed — or even suspected — doctors will start intravenous (IV) antibiotics as soon as possible. Fluids may be given to replace those lost to fever, sweating, vomiting, and poor appetite.

What does meningitis look like in toddlers?

The first symptoms are usually fever, vomiting, headache and feeling unwell. Limb pain, pale skin, and cold hands and feet often appear earlier than the rash, neck stiffness, dislike of bright lights and confusion.

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