Pediatricians on meningitis

Pediatrician in Gastonia, NC

Image source:

Pediatricians in Gastonia, NC and elsewhere warn of the danger of meningitis. Babies under one year old and people between the ages of 16 and 23 are most at risk.

Meningitis is inflammation of the meninges. The meninges are membranes that protect the brain and spinal cord, and as such are not something you want anything to be wrong with, so any case of meningitis is a medical emergency. The inflammation can be caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi or other things. Viral meningitis is the most common type, but bacterial meningitis is much more dangerous and likely to be lethal.

Even the tests for meningitis can be dangerous. The test which is most likely to produce reliable results requires that the surgeon perform a lumbar puncture, a way of withdrawing cerebrospinal fluid. This can detect meningitis and indicate what is causing it. But if a patient is already suffering from high intracranial pressure, this can cause damage all by itself.

Meningitis symptoms and how to treat it

Meningitis in older children and teenagers almost always begins with painful headaches, and neck stiffness usually follows. Children and teenagers who suffer from meningitis are often listless, irritable and highly sensitive to light and noise, and show signs of skin rashes.

In infants, meningitis is less obvious and harder to spot. If a bulge forms on top of the baby’s head, that makes the condition easier to detect, but often the disease first manifests as a general unhappiness, and it doesn’t become obvious that something is wrong until you try to comfort the baby and it doesn’t work at all. Other symptoms to look for are jaundice and a slightly lowered temperature.

If you see any of these symptoms, take your child to your pediatrician to determine if the meningitis is viral or bacterial. Viral meningitis in children lasts seven to ten days, and rest, fluids and pain medicine are enough to treat the symptoms. But if your child has bacterial meningitis, he or she need hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics.

Meningitis vaccines

Pediatricians recommend your child get the meningococcal conjugate vaccine, which protects against four types of bacteria. The meningococcal B vaccine protects against meningococcal bacterium type B. Ask your pediatrician if this vaccine is a good idea.

Pediatricians in Gastonia, NC

Gastonia Pediatric Associates is a center for pediatric medicine conveniently located west of Charlotte, NC. It is one of the first medical practices for children in the Gastonia area, has served three generations of families with personalized care and offers medical advice for parents 24 hours a day. Its staff includes three physicians and three nursing staff. Gastonia Pediatrics is owned and directed by its own physicians. If your family needs a pediatrician, call today.