What are some of the early signs and symptoms of bacterial meningitis? Some people may not be entirely familiar with everything this disease entails. The most frightening thing about it is that a person can be seemingly healthy one minute, and in less than 24 hours, serious damage to the body can occur. In some of the worst case scenarios, people do not survive bacterial meningitis. The most important thing to remember about the disease is that once symptoms begin, the process occurs very quickly. Prompt medical care is the best course of action, but it is often missed because the symptoms can be vague and they often mimic many other diseases that are more common and far less dangerous. In addition, patients don’t always survive bacterial meningitis even when they have the best medical care and they get treated almost immediately.
Obviously, the best thing that you can do is recognize the symptoms so that you can get anyone who might be displaying the signs and symptoms of bacterial meningitis to a hospital as quickly as possible. As previously mentioned, the earliest symptoms are quite vague. Typically, they mimic the flu and in some cases, people who witness the symptoms first hand think that the individual in question is suffering from a bad cold. If you happen to see someone that is suffering from symptoms, you would probably assume that the individual needs fluids and rest and they will be much better in the morning. Unfortunately, when bacterial meningitis is present, the person has a tendency to get much worse very quickly. That small window of a few hours where you think that they are suffering from a cold or the flu can make all the difference in the world between recovery and death.
After the initial symptoms, it usually becomes apparent that the afflicted individual has something far worse than the flu. However, it is worth noting that by the time you notice these symptoms, it is often already too late so it is important to see a doctor or visit a hospital before these symptoms ever occur. While the initial vomiting may have stopped and the fever might not be getting any worse, the more advanced symptoms usually make the person so weak they can scarcely move. Typically, the muscles in the neck will become extremely stiff, sore and tender. This is a major indicator that meningitis is present. As the disease progresses, hallucinations might even become evident.
Unfortunately, this is a very serious disease. Someone that is suffering from it might recover completely if the problem is caught early enough, but in some cases, it involves organ damage, the loss of limbs and even death. Treatment must occur in a hospital, as this is something that simply cannot be managed in any other setting.
A bacterial meningitis diagnosis scares most people. If someone you love has been diagnosed with it, you are already aware of the potential dangers associated with this disease. Fortunately, prompt medical treatment can make a world of difference. The key is getting them the treatment they need soon enough.