Testing for Meningitis

What is Meningitis?

Meningitis is a medical condition in which the protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord become infected, causing damages to the nerves and the brain. Meningitis is most common in babies and children younger than five years; however, anyone can suffer from this condition as can be seen in this recent story where a woman lost her husband to meningitis. Her husband who initially complained of fever and headache became completely unresponsive about five hours after she contacted the NHS non-emergency service. Two days later, he was taken off of life support and it was confirmed that he died of meningitis. According to the NHS, it was a busy period, explaining the five hours delay before they were finally able to get the woman’s husband to the hospital.

Types of Meningitis

There are two types of meningitis:

 

Viral Meningitis

This type of meningitis is caused by viruses and are easily spread through poor hygiene, coughing and sneezing. Although it is the most common type of meningitis, it is not the most serious and can easily be treated with pain killers and a few weeks of rest.

Bacterial Meningitis

This type of meningitis is caused by bacteria and is transmitted though close contact. It is the most serious type because if it is left untreated it can cause severe brain damage. In the story of the widow’s husband, it is very likely that he died of bacterial meningitis. He would have needed intravenous antibiotics and if he had gotten to the hospital earlier, he would have had more chances of survival. Some people might need to be admitted to the hospital while others might have to be admitted to intensive care as a result of bacterial meningitis. 

Testing for Meningitis

Many people easily confuse meningitis with the flu, that is because the symptoms of meningitis are very common with those of the flu. As explained, bacterial meningitis can be very dangerous so it is of utter importance that you determine if you are suffering from virus or bacterial meningitis or if it is just the flu. Many people are not aware of the fact that it is possible to test for meningitis at home. The home meningitis test pack contains the necessary tools needed to help you diagnose meningitis at home. The home kit is something that should be in the family medicine cabinet, especially if you have small children. It is not something that you buy if you have symptoms as the kit needs to be used as soon as symptoms develop. Meningitis can be a medical emergency so there can be no delays. 

It is possible that if the woman in the story above had a home kit, she could have tested her husband for meningitis and could have determined that he was suffering from the condition and could have requested emergency assistance instead of waiting on the non-emergency service.

How does the home testing kit work?

One of the most common symptoms of meningitis is a very distinctive rash. The home testing kit consists of a rash testing bar that is used to help to diagnose the condition. The test also comes with a leaflet that explains the results of the test. If the results are positive, you should seek medical help immediately especially if the symptoms are in babies and young children.

Symptoms of Meningitis

Apart from the rash mentioned, meningitis has a range of other symptoms. Some symptoms are common in babies and adults while others are specific to babies and others are specific to adults. Below are some of the most common symptoms of meningitis:

How can you protect yourself?

So now that you have had meningitis explained to you and you know how dangerous it can be, what can you do to protect yourself? A few decades ago, almost everyone infected with meningitis died. They did not really die of the condition; however, they died of blood poisoning which is normally a result of untreated meningitis. Today, if you make sure that you have received all of your vaccination and your children are up to date with their vaccination, you should not have to worry about getting this condition.

It is advisable that you make sure that you continue to obtain further information on the condition so that you can learn how to identify it and to distinguish it from the flu because you do not want to lose a loved one to a condition that can be easily diagnosed at home so make sure that you always have a meningitis home testing kit.

 

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