Meningitis is an infection or inflammation of the linings of the brain that can be identified with lethargy, stiff neck, headache and fatigue. Understand exactly what meningitis is with helpful information from a doctor in this free video on meningitis.
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This is Richard Alan Watson and I'm an ophthalmologist in St. Joseph, Missouri. I trained at the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences campus and I finished my residency in 1990. And today we're going to discuss meningitis. What is meningitis? Meningitis is an infection or inflammation of the linings of the brain. There are several different causes of meningitis that can be infected by bacterial organisms that get into the lining and cause different problems. Viruses can also affect the cervical spinal fluid in the linings around the brain. So what meningitis does is it usually causes an altered mental status where the patient is difficult to arouse, they may be quite sleepy, they'll frequently complain if they're able to talk still of a stiff neck or a headache. They will frequently just not even complain about much of anything, they'll just lay around lethargically and you can look in their ears and look in their nose and they won't resist your examination but they won't be able to cooperate with it either because they're basically kind of out of it. And they'll get lethargic and severe headache and they think they're coming down with the flu, but they can get quite ill quite quickly leading to infarctions in their extremities where they lose their circulation and out to their fingers and toes or even hands and feet and it can cause such debilitating brain damage that they actually die from it. They frequently get little black spots on their skin in the later manifestations of the infection and those bruises and spots that they get will help make the diagnosis but typically it needs to be made sooner than those developing. Once again this has been Alan Watson discussing meningitis and the causes and treatments of it.