Naked Science Forum

On the Lighter Side => Complementary Medicine => Topic started by: Simulated on 23/08/2007 02:27:49

Title: Mono and Meningitis
Post by: Simulated on 23/08/2007 02:27:49
Mono is the "Kissing Disease" right?


What is all up with Mentigitis?

Thanks Sim!
Title: Re: Mono and Meningitis
Post by: Karen W. on 23/08/2007 02:35:02
Taken from Kids Health                           

Meningitis is a word you might hear on the news. That's because there are sometimes outbreaks of meningitis at schools or colleges - and it's a serious illness. But many people get better after they have meningitis and there are ways to keep from getting sick from it.
What Is Meningitis?

The central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) is surrounded by cerebrospinal (say: suh-ree-bro-spy-nul) fluid. This fluid acts to cushion and protect the central nervous system when you move around. Even more protection is given by the meninges (say: muh-nin-jeez), which are the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord.

Meningitis (say: meh-nun-jye-tus) is a disease involving inflammation, or irritation, of the meninges. There are different kinds of meningitis, but most of the time it is caused by germs, especially viruses.

Meningitis gets attention because it not only makes a person feel sick, it can have lasting effects on a person's ability to think and learn. It also can cause hearing loss. But many people recover from the infection without permanent damage. And the illness is so rare, you may never know anyone who gets it.
How Does Someone Get Meningitis?

The body has natural defenses against infections - and usually even if someone comes across a virus or bacteria that can cause meningitis, the body can fight it off. Everyone has lots of germs living on and in their bodies. Most of the time, these germs don't cause any illness. In fact, some of them, like the E. coli normally found in the intestines, help the body to work properly. However, some germs do cause infections.

If a person gets an infection, the body's immune system will go to work to fight it. That's why you might feel sick one day, but then you start to feel better. The immune system is doing its job.

Some germs, however, are tricky. They can outsmart the body's defenses and spread inside of the body. Some of these germs can even invade the central nervous system, infecting the meninges and causing meningitis.
Bacteria and Viruses

There are many viruses that can cause viral meningitis. They include a family of viruses known as enteroviruses (say: en-teh-row-vye-rus-ez). Like most viruses, enteroviruses infect your body through saliva (spit), feces (poop), and nasal discharge (snot). This is why washing your hands after you go to the bathroom or after you sneeze is so important.

It's also possible to get viral meningitis as a complication of chickenpox, but this is also very rare in healthy kids. These days, many kids are vaccinated to prevent chickenpox with a shot before starting school.

Bacterial meningitis is contagious, which means it can be passed to someone else by spit or snot. It can be spread when you sneeze or cough, when you share cups or utensils, or when you kiss someone. Vaccines that are now given to kids before they are 2 years of age help protect them from serious diseases like meningitis.
What Are the Symptoms of Meningitis?

Usually, someone with meningitis is very sick. Symptoms may include:

    * a very bad headache that won't go away
    * neck stiffness
    * back stiffness
    * eye pain or irritation when exposed to light
    * nausea, or being sick to the stomach
    * vomiting, or throwing up
    * body aches
    * fever
    * feeling very sleepy or unable to fully wake up
    * feeling very confused or out of it

Symptoms of meningitis can come on very quickly or take a couple of days to appear. Anyone who is ill with symptoms of meningitis needs to seek medical care right away.
What Will the Doctor Do?

When someone is ill and may have symptoms of meningitis, a doctor will ask many questions to figure out how long the person has been sick and what may have caused the illness. The doctor will do a complete physical examination and if he or she suspects that meningitis might be causing a person's illness, a spinal tap is usually done.

A spinal tap allows the doctor to collect some of the cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. During a spinal tap, a person lies on his or her side curled into a ball. First, the doctor will numb the skin with medication. (This is done to prevent pain.)

The person needs to lie very still while the doctor inserts a very thin needle into the spinal column. The needle is placed between two vertebral bones in the lower back away from the spinal cord. Fluid is removed and collected in some tubes. Then the needle is removed, and the doctor puts a bandage over the area.

After it is collected, the spinal fluid will be examined under a microscope to see if any bacteria, cells, or substances that indicate inflammation or infection are there. Usually by looking at the spinal fluid in this way, a doctor will quickly know if someone has meningitis. The fluid will also be sent to a laboratory to be tested for viruses and bacteria. Once the doctors know what germ is causing the meningitis, they can choose the best medicine to treat the infection. Treatment depends on the type of meningitis.

Bacterial meningitis is very serious and a person will need to be in the hospital as he or she is treated. Strong antibiotic medicine will be given through an IV to get rid of the bacteria. Fluids containing glucose (sugar) and minerals will also be given through the IV to help a person recover.

Viral meningitis can also be serious, but usually is not as bad as meningitis caused by bacteria. A person with viral meningitis may need to be in the hospital for several days and it may take weeks before he or she is feeling better. Antibiotics do not work against viruses, so a person with viral meningitis will need lots of rest to fight off the infection.
Can Meningitis Be Prevented?

If someone gets bacterial meningitis in your neighborhood or school, doctors will want to know who was in close contact with this person. Close contact means living with the person, sharing the same utensils or cups, or spending a lot of time with him or her. This is important because people who have been in close contact should take antibiotics for a few days, just in case they were infected with the bacteria, too. The medicine can help prevent them from developing meningitis. But that won't prevent sickness if a virus caused the meningitis.

If you've had all your vaccines, they will help protect you from getting meningitis. But there's another way to prevent those germs from getting inside your body: Wash your hands. Wash up regularly with warm, soapy water - especially before eating, after using the bathroom, and whenever your hands are dirty. It is also a good idea to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Then - you guessed it - wash your hands!

Updated and reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: November 2004
Originally reviewed by: Joel Klein, MD
Title: Mono and Meningitis
Post by: Simulated on 23/08/2007 02:45:42
Oh Its to late for me to read that much. Thanks for the information and I'll let you know what I think tomorrow!
Title: Mono and Meningitis
Post by: another_someone on 23/08/2007 03:39:34
Infectious mononucleosis, (also known as the kissing disease, or Pfeiffer's disease, in North America as mono, Westcountry England as the glandge and more commonly known as glandular fever in other English-speaking countries) is seen most commonly in adolescents and young adults, characterized in teenagers by fever, sore throat, muscle soreness, and fatigue. Mononucleosis typically produces a very mild illness in small children. White patches on the tonsils or in the back of the throat may also be seen, (resembling strep throat). Mononucleosis is usually caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), which infects B cells (B-lymphocytes), producing a reactive lymphocytosis and atypical T cells (T-lymphocytes) known as Downey bodies.

Mononucleosis is typically transmitted from asymptomatic individuals through blood or saliva (hence "the kissing disease"), or by sharing a drink, or sharing eating utensils. The disease is far less contagious than is commonly thought. In rare cases a person may have a high resistance to infection.[citation needed] The disease is so-named because the count of mononuclear leukocytes (white blood cells with a one-lobed nucleus) rises significantly. There are two main types of mononuclear leukocytes: monocytes and lymphocytes. They normally account for about 35% of all white blood cells. With infectious mononucleosis, this can rise to 50-70%. Also, the total white blood count may increase to 10,000-20,000 per cubic millimeter.

Essentially, we are talking about a viral infection with the Epstein Barr virus.  Mostly mild (sometimes symptomless), but in extreme cases, the virus can cause problems in the spleen and liver.

In very rare cases, it can cause viral meningitis, but viral meningitis is usually not as much of a risk as bacterial meningitis.
Title: Mono and Meningitis
Post by: Simulated on 23/08/2007 15:53:26
Thank you all! What about ono? Sorry these are the only keys working on y keyboard 1234567890-=qwertyuiop[]\asdfghjkl;'bn/ enter is broken so i' not in a good position lol
Title: Mono and Meningitis
Post by: Simulated on 23/08/2007 16:42:52
NVM to that thing up above its working now. And so if I only sat close to, shared food and drinks with, and kissed one person and same with them. We would both be safe?
Title: Mono and Meningitis
Post by: another_someone on 23/08/2007 19:21:16
And so if I only sat close to, shared food and drinks with, and kissed one person and same with them. We would both be safe?

Life would be very boring.

But in any case, the person whom you kissed, or shared your drinks or eating utensils with, could be a symptomless carrier who caught the disease in the early childhood.

There are no certainties in the world, all you can do is judge how paranoid you want to get with the risks you take.  You don't want to get reckless, but neither paranoid - but find a  line in between.
Title: Mono and Meningitis
Post by: Simulated on 23/08/2007 23:09:39
Thanks George!