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Fever and neck pain? – Meningitis Symptoms Checker

 

Meningitis is an infection of the layers covering the brain and spinal cord. It can be both a mild or life-threatening disease.

Meningitis is a condition in which the meninges contract an infection, and there is further inflammation (swelling). The meninges are layers covering the Central Nervous System (CNS), and each one has a specific configuration (brain and spinal cord). They have two major functions within the CNS. The first one is to provide a supportive framework for the cerebral and cranial vasculature. The second one is to work together with the cerebrospinal fluid to protect the CNS from mechanical damage.

The meninges have three different layers. The first one is the dura mater, the outermost layer with its own vascularization and innervation. It is a hard layer underneath the bones. Underneath the dura mater are the arachnoids. It is a web-like layer that does not have vascularization or innervation. Later there is the pia mater, a thin layer highly vascularized and innervated that is in direct contact with the brain and the spinal cord. Between the arachnoid and the pia mater, there is the subarachnoidal space which contains the Cerebrospinal Fluid.

Most of the cases of Meningitis have an underlying infectious cause. There are different types for an infectious agent to enter the CNS:

  1. The bloodstream invasion and seeding in the CNS, for example, bacteremia or fungemia.
  2. Through retrograde neuronal pathways like the olfactory and peripheral nerves.
  3. The direct contiguous spread of diseases like sinusitis, otitis media, and trauma.

The brain is designed to be protected from the body’s immune system by a barrier between it and the bloodstream. However, in Meningitis, the barrier becomes disrupted and allows the entrance of different organisms. This barrier can become troublesome as a portion of the body is naturally isolated from the immune system. This allows the different microorganisms that can enter this space to replicate and produce an infection. It also produces that the meninges become overflow with liquid causing swelling and worsening of the symptoms.

Different types of Meningitis go from infectious causes to non-infectious. Among the infectious types, there are bacterial infections, viral, fungal, and parasitic. Other causes are related to autoimmune diseases, drug reactions, or even cancer.

The most common cause of Meningitis is the viral cause, followed by bacterial Meningitis and non-infectious Meningitis. It is a disease that primarily affects children under 20 years old and newborns depending on the type. However, it is a disease that can affect anybody as people with weak immune systems are at risk of developing the disease.

Meningitis symptoms can vary as there are several symptoms of this disease. In the beginning, it may seem like flu, but within hours, the symptoms may worsen. The symptoms include confusion, headache, vomiting, or sudden fever. Nonetheless, one of the cardinal symptoms is neck stiffness, and doctors and patients alike should be aware. Complications of this disease can be severe, including seizures and further brain injury.

The tool is a Meningitis Symptoms Checker. It gathers the most important signs, symptoms, and risk factors for this disease.

The treatment for this disease will vary depending on the cause. For bacterial Meningitis, the treatment will include antibiotics. On the other hand, treatment for viral Meningitis is rest and pain management as it is a condition that tends to go away with time. For other causes, the treatment will be addressed specifically to its cause.

Doctors must run several tests for diagnosing Meningitis, such as blood cultures and imaging exams. Nonetheless, the fundamental test for making an assertive diagnosis is the Lumbar Punction. It consists of extracting a sample of Cerebrospinal fluid and processing the sample to determine the causal agent by introducing a needle in your vertebral column. 

This tool gathers questions that aim to find the most important symptoms, signs, and meningitis risk factors. Therefore, the tool will tell anybody the likelihood of their symptoms because of this disease.

However, remember that this tool does not replace an adequate assessment by a medical doctor or all the necessary laboratory and imaging exams for the diagnosis. The tool will only talk about a likelihood because many other diseases could have similar symptoms and risk factors. 

Using the tool is free and would only take a few minutes. Find out if you have risk factors or your symptoms are compatible with Meningitis.

  • Question of

    Do you have less than 5 or more than 60 years?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Have you been diagnosed with diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney failure, adrenal insufficiency, hypoparathyroidism, or cystic fibrosis?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Have you been diagnosed with HIV infection?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Have you got taken your spleen or been diagnosed with sickle cell disease?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Do you have been diagnosed with alcoholism and/or cirrhosis?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Do you have been diagnosed with thalassemia major?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Do you have been recently exposed (been in close contact with) people with a meningitis diagnosis?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Do you inject yourself drugs?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Did you recently have brain surgery or take a hit in the head?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Do you have a fever? (preferably use a thermometer which needs to shows more than 101,3 °F or touch your forehead and determine if the temperature is increased)

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Do you have headache?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Do you have a stiff neck? (This mean that it will typically cause you pain to move your neck, more importantly leaning your head forward to your chest)

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Is the patient suddenly changing the way they talk, think, or overall mind impairment (sleepiness, confusion like having a hard time concentrating or irritability)?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Do you have nausea (feeling like throwing up) or vomits?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Do you have discomfort when looking into bright lights?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Do these symptoms have hours or less than three days?

    • Yes
    • No

Written by Dr. Esteban Kosak

Doctor of Medicine - MD Recently Graduated from Medical School and inspired to aid the global population during this situation. I think that we shall no longer be waiting to see a doctor when we feel sick. Several times we feel disease searches in Google drive us to a rabbit hole and come out thinking that we may die of cancer or something very serious, given that symptoms may seem to fit a wide variety of illnesses. Since I recently graduated from medical school. I have all the medical information fresh in my mind. My thorough experience as an expert researcher allows me to very-well known the different diseases and conditions that affect human bodies. Empowered by the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs). I think that we all can provide a grain of sand to help humanity. That's why we created Symptoms.Care a place where you can come and screen your symptoms and find what different illnesses can be related to them. Armed with the right information you can instantly, discretely, secure and from the comfort of your home talk with a Doctor that can Evaluate your Symptoms and help you seek the right treatment.

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