Victorian government portal for older people, with information about government and community services and programs. Type a minimum of three characters then press UP or DOWN on the keyboard to navigate the autocompleted search results. Meningitis is when the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord meninges become infected.
What is meningococcal disease? Meningococcal muh-nin-jo-kok-ul disease is a very serious bacterial infection that most often causes severe swelling of the protective lining around the brain and spinal cord meningitis or infection of the bloodstream meningococcal sepsis. But symptoms can progress quickly, killing an otherwise healthy young person in less than 48 hours.
In this population, more variable presentations are seen, with fewer patients manifesting fever, neck stiffness, and headache than among younger adults. The spectrum of etiologic bacterial organisms is more broad than that for a younger population, in part because of the increased frequency of severe underlying diseases and in part as a result of immunosenescence. Therapy is complicated by both the range of possible causative organisms and the increasing antibiotic resistance manifested by some.
Viral meningitis is the most common type of meningitis, an inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord. It is often less severe than bacterial meningitis, and most people get better on their own without treatment. However, anyone with symptoms of meningitis should see a doctor right away because some types of meningitis can be very serious.
The clinical and laboratory characteristics and prognostic factors were analyzed, and a clinical comparison with those of non-elderly ABM patients was also made. Thirty-nine of these 87 elderly ABM patients had spontaneous infection, while the other 48 had post-neurosurgical infection. Forty-four patients contracted ABM in a community-acquired state, while the other 43, a nosocomial state.
Subacute meningitis is inflammation of the layers of tissue that cover the brain and spinal cord meninges and of the fluid-filled space between the meninges subarachnoid space when it develops over days to a few weeks. Chronic meningitis is slowly developing meningitis that lasts 4 weeks or longer. Symptoms are usually similar to those of acute bacterial meningitis headache, fever, and stiff neck but may also include confusion, hearing loss, and double vision.
Bacterial meningitis symptoms typically begin suddenly and progress rapidly, within 24 hours. In adults and elderly patients, bacterial meningitis symptoms may include the following:. However, elderly patients often do not present with the typical meningitis symptoms.
Clinicians should maintain a high level of suspicion of meningitis in older adults, since they may present without classic signs and symptoms. Clinicians should remember that more older patients are at risk of healthcare-associated meningitis and may be at risk of more resistant organisms. A lumbar puncture should be performed as quickly as possible.
Meningitis is often thought of as a disease that only affects babies and young children. But the truth is that meningitis can affect anyone of any age, with the risk increasing in older adults as our immune systems weaken as we get older. To find out more about meningitis in adults, please download an awareness pack or request a printed copy. Request printed awareness pack.