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Meningococcal disease - Essay Example
Meningococcal disease (meningitis) was first described in 1805 when an outbreak swept through Geneva, Switzerland. The causative agent, Neisseria meningitidis, a meningococcus, gram-negative, aerobic, nonmotile diplococcus, was identified in 1887. Meningitis is inflammation of the meninges, which consist of three membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord: the dura mater, and the arachoid membrane, and the pia mater…
Meningitis hearing loss typically appears after a bout with meningitis.
Before the 1990s, Haemophilus influenzae Type B (Hib) was the leading cause of bacterial meningitis, but with new vaccines as part of routine immunizations, the occurrence of this invasive disease has reduced. Today, Streptococcus pneumoniae and N. meningitidis are the leading causes of bacterial meningitis. It can be caused by various infectious agents, including viruses, fungi, and protozoa, but bacteria produce the most life-threatening infection. Factors such as age, history of head trauma cerebrospinal fluid leaks, and immune status may help determine the causative agent.
The bacteria that is responsible for meningitis are the meningococcus (N. meningitidis), most important because of its potential to cause epidemics; influenza bacillus (H. influenzae); and various strains of pneumococci, streptococci, or staphylococci. H. influenzae occurs in infants and young children but only rarely in the elderly, and its course and symptoms resemble those of N. meningitidis. In adults, the bacterium pneumococcus (S. pneumoniae) is a common cause of meningitis.
Meningitis hearing loss can range in varying degrees, mild, moderate, severe, profound or total. ...