Pneumococcal meningitis from all types of meningitis is the most severe. It develops most often in children. Before the advent of antibiotics for pneumococcal meningitis kills nearly 100% of affected children. And even today, in the presence of highly effective antibiotics this type of meningitis is a serious problem.
Why start pneumococcal meningitis
Pneumococcal meningitis is caused by pneumococcus (Streptococcus pneumoniae), and is characterized by acute onset, severe, frequent development of meningoencephalitis and high mortality. A feature of the pneumococcus is that it has a strong protective capsule, which at the time of introduction into the body protects it from destruction by immune cells.
Streptococcus pneumoniae is a common pathogen infection that often occurs in children. The source of infection are sick people and bacilli carrier. Today it is considered that the carriers of pneumococcus are every fourth (and probably every second) child of preschool age and every fourth or fifth adult. Basically Transmission occurs by airborne droplets - sneezing, coughing, talking. But the possibility of transmission through and dirty (contaminated saliva) hands and objects.
Pneumococcal disease does not develop at all, many children and adults can be a bacilli carrier for years, but did not become ill. But if you catch a cold a bacilli carrier, will take a lot of stress
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or his body will be weakened by some other disease, the very real possibility of the disease pneumococcal infection.
After direct contact with the body as pneumococcus ill mostly people with reduced immunity. More common in children, especially small, who have observed the physiological immaturity of the immune system.
But nearly half the primary source of infection in the respiratory tract and upper respiratory tract can not be found, so this pneumococcal meningitis
Meningitis - an inflammation of the meninges
is considered to be primary, it occurs especially hard.
What happens in the body of the patient at pneumococcal disease
With the introduction of the pneumococcus to the respiratory tract or upper respiratory organs develop primary inflammatory focus - bronchitis
Bronchitis - protection if the body has malfunctioned
, Pneumonia, sinusitis, otitis media and so on, where the infection infectious agents spread through the blood to other organs and tissues. Most often infection with misses the meninges with the development of meningoencephalitis and meningitis (inflammation of the membranes and brain tissue).
The symptoms of pneumococcal meningitis
Primary pneumococcal meningitis is almost always begins acutely, with the rise of high fever, chills, rapid growth of the symptoms of intoxication. There is a strong, growing in intensity, headache, vomiting. Young children often vomiting fountain, which is difficult to stop - it causes dehydration of the child.
No less characteristic symptom is the increased skin sensitivity, photophobia and fear of loud noises, which also appear in the first days of illness. Meningeal symptoms appear on the first or second day, manifested in a characteristic pose meningeal patient: head thrown back, the body is stretched, stomach in, his hands pressed to the chest and knees to the stomach. Such a person can not press your chin to your chest because of numb neck.
In infants develop early increased intracranial pressure - which is a symptom of a bulging fontanelle pulsing. The child is pale, fingertips and lips have a bluish tint, a significant shortness of breath.
Almost always joined expressed cerebral symptoms and signs of focal brain lesions, which indicates the defeat of brain tissue - meningoencephalitis. Focal symptoms appear already on the first - the second day of the disease in the form of paresis or paralysis of limbs, gait disturbances, lesions of cranial nerves. Most often affects the facial and oculomotor cranial nerves, which manifests itself in the form of facial asymmetry and strabismus.
Characteristically rapid increase in edema and swelling of the brain - it can cause the death of the child in the first three days of illness.
Secondary pneumococcal meningitis that develops against the backdrop of the existing primary focus of inflammation (bronchitis, pneumonia, purulent inflammation of the upper respiratory tract) begins not as acute symptoms initially are not expressed in nature, but their intensity increases, so the illness is not less difficult.
Perhaps the appearance of the skin of various nature (hemorrhagic, maculopapular, and so on), rash, especially in septic course of the disease.
For pneumococcal meningitis is characterized by frequent relapses. Each quad-fifth child who has had his left neurological complications in the form of paresis, paralysis, deafness, blindness, impaired memory, and so on.
Diagnosis and treatment
The diagnosis is confirmed by detection in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), the causative agent. Liquor flows under pressure, cloudy, yellowish-green hue, revealed neutrophilic pleocytosis (an increase in the number of cells in the cerebrospinal fluid with a predominance of one type of white blood cells - neutrophils, that is typical for bacterial infections), increased protein and reduced glucose
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Treatment of pneumococcal meningitis is the same as the treatment of other bacterial meningitis.