Meningitis News

Meningitis is a disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. It results from an infection in the brain and spinal cord fluid that causes the organs' protective covering, a membrane called the meninges, to become inflamed.

The causes of meningitis vary, as does it severity, ranging from a mild illness to life-threatening. The type and severity of meningitis determines how the disease would be treated.

Causes of Meningitis

One of the most severe forms of meningitis can be caused by bacteria. This infection often begins with nausea, vomiting and a change in mental state, but it can lead to brain damage, learning disabilities and hearing loss in some instances. Viral meningitis , on the other hand, is typically less severe than bacterial meningitis. It may have some of the same symptoms (nausea, vomiting, altered mental state and sensitivity to light), but complications tend not to be as great as those of bacterial meningitis.

There are also very rare forms of meningitis that can be caused by parasites or fungi. These are serious infections that may result from exposure to contaminated water or soil. They are very dangerous diseases, and the parasitic form is fatal.

Meningitis can also occur as a complication of another illness, injury or medication. This is known as non-infectious meningitis. Common causes of non-infectious meningitis include lupus, cancer, a head injury, brain surgery and some medications.


Treatment for meningitis will vary based on the type and severity of the illness. Bacterial and fungal meningitis, for example, can be treated with medications, but it’s very important in both instances to detect the illness as early as possible to achieve the best results from treatment. Viral meningitis is typically untreated, as it does not respond to antibiotics. However, it's rarely severe, and the symptoms dissipate on their own in 7 to 10 days.

SOURCES: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Date Posted
Article Title
Meningitis B Vaccination

Only half of pediatricians discuss meningitis B vaccine with patients, study finds.

Vaccine Campaign in Poor Countries to Save 20 Million Lives

Program will also save $350 billion in health care costs by 2020, study says

Far Fewer Kids Are Dying Worldwide, but Gains Are Uneven

While study found great progress, problems persist in South Asia and parts of Africa

U.S. Vaccine Guidelines for Flu, HPV Updated

CDC panel revises immunization advisory for vaccines affecting adults

Protein in Breast Milk May Reduce Hospital Infections in Preemies

Lactoferrin is safe for newborns and might prevent pneumonia and meningitis, researchers say

Meningitis B Vaccine Falls Short of Expectations

1 in 3 students didn't get immunity against outbreak strain after 2 doses of Bexsero, study finds

New Bacterial Meningitis Vaccine Approved

Bexsero prevents deadly infection of spinal cord lining

FDA Approves New Vaccine to Protect Against Meningitis

Trumenba guards against type of bacteria that is one of leading causes of life-threatening disease

Common Childhood Vaccine Cuts 'Superbug' Infection: Study

Cases of antibiotic-resistant pneumonia, meningitis fell after pneumococcal shot introduced in 2010

2 Vaccines Help Cut Bacteria That Cause Meningitis, Study Finds

Shot could reduce risk that people who carry germs will spread them to others, research suggests

Doctors Urge Meningitis Shots for Vulnerable Infants, Children

And teens, college students should make sure their vaccines are up to date, says Academy of Pediatrics

Same Meningitis Strain Behind Drexel, Princeton Outbreaks: CDC

Drexel student recently died from the bacterial infection

West Nile Virus Has Cost U.S. Nearly $800 Million: CDC

Researchers tallied costs in health care, lost productivity over 14 years

As More Meningitis Cases Hit Colleges, Experts Urge Awareness

Symptoms include sudden fever, headache, neck stiffness, vomiting and sensitivity to light

Princeton Students Safe to Travel Despite Meningitis Outbreak: CDC

Illnesses in N.J. and California involve strain not covered by currently approved vaccine, agency says

Infections From Tainted Steroids Ranged in Severity: Update

CDC study looked at meningitis, other conditions in 6 hardest-hit states

Fungus From Tainted Steroid Shots Migrated to Base of Brain, Study Shows

Once there, it could help spur the meningitis that killed 58 in last year's outbreak

MRIs Spot 'Hidden' Fungal Infections From Tainted Steroid Shots

More cases will continue to surface, study author predicts

Man Relapsed After Treatment for Meningitis Tied to Tainted Injections

CDC continues to monitor patients sickened by shots from now-shuttered Mass. pharmacy

Infections From Tainted Spine Injections Continue to Baffle Investigators

Michigan hit hardest; experts can't rule out new, localized infections

Childhood Meningitis Tied to Reduced Education, Employment Prospects

Danish study found some were less likely to be financially self-sufficient as adults

Deadly Meningitis Cases Worry Gay Community

Outbreaks have killed men in New York, California, but officials now think cases on each coast unrelated

Combo Therapy Helps Knock Out Fungal Meningitis

Study found 2-drug treatment reduced death risk from cryptococcal meningitis by 40 percent

Mistaken Infection 'On The Prairie'?

Mary Ingalls, of 'Little House on the Prairie', probably didn't go blind from scarlet fever, experts suggest

Whooping Cough Vaccine for Pregnant Women Among New Recommendations

U.S. experts also say egg allergy is no longer reason to avoid the flu vaccine

Survival of 'Obamacare' Tops List of Biggest Health News in 2012

Other headlines included steroid/meningitis outbreak, demise of the routine PSA test

FDA, States Weigh Pharmacy Regulation in Wake of Meningitis Outbreak

States ask agency to play a greater role in policing specialty pharmacies, protecting patients

Secondhand Smoke Puts Children at Risk for Meningitis

Review found smoking during pregnancy and in the home raised odds of dangerous bacterial infection

Meningitis/Steroid Toll Now 34 Dead

490 people have been sickened, CDC says

Meningitis Outbreak Toll Now 33 Dead, 480 Sickened, CDC Says

Lawmakers, pharmacy representatives wrangled this week in Congressional hearings

Compounding Pharmacists Oppose Greater U.S. Oversight

Existing rules, basically on state level, are enough, lobbyist says; death toll tied to tainted steroids still at 32

Owner of Meningitis-Linked Pharmacy Declines to Testify Before Congress

FDA commissioner asks for more authority over specialty pharmacies like one linked to tainted injections

Congress to Open Hearings Into Steroid/Meningitis Outbreak

32 deaths, 438 illnesses linked to contaminated drug, CDC says

Steroid-Meningitis Toll Now 32 Dead, 438 Sickened, CDC Says

Infections still limited to 19 states, with Michigan and Tennessee hit hardest

Steroid-Meningitis Toll Now 31 Dead, 424 Sickened, CDC Says

Infections reported in 19 states; Michigan and Tennessee hit hardest

Report Details Start of Steroid Meningitis Outbreak

More federal oversight needed to prevent repeat occurrences, expert says

Steroid-Meningitis Toll Now 30 Dead, 419 Sickened, CDC Says

Infections reported in 19 states; Michigan and Tennessee hit hardest

FDA: More Tainted Products at Firm Tied to Meningitis Outbreak

Toll on Friday stood at 29 people dead, 404 sickened, officials report

Bacteria Found in Other Products From Firm Tied to Meningitis Outbreak: FDA

Massachusetts also tightens regulation of specialty pharmacies like New England Compounding Center

Company With Ties to Meningitis-Linked Pharmacy Recalls All Products

FDA finds worrisome conditions at Ameridose plant, which has same owners as New England Compounding Center

Fungal Meningitis Outbreak Toll Now 28 Dead, 363 Sickened

Cases rise as investigation into compounding pharmacies implicated in the outbreak continues

Second Compounding Pharmacy Shut Down in Massachusetts

As meningitis outbreak reaches 354 cases, state inspectors cite 'significant' problems at Infusion Resource facility

'Greenish-Black' Contaminant in Vials of Steroid Behind Meningitis Outbreak: FDA

Officials say 25 are now dead, 338 sickened from tainted injections

'Greenish-Black' Contaminant in Vials of Steroid Behind Meningitis Outbreak: FDA

Officials say 25 are now dead, 338 sickened from tainted injections