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Meningitis Death

Updated on December 13, 2012

What Is Meningitis

(neisseria meningitidis) The bacteria that causes meningococcus meningitis

Inside your skull resides the lining of the brain called meninges, which is designed to protect your brain, keeping it safe and cozy inside the confines of your noggin. But should this defensive lining become infected, you can be sure your brain is going to become your worst nightmare as it causes your life to rapidly dwindle into the hereafter. Meningitis of the brain is nothing to take lightly, it can and does kill in a very short period of time. Let's take a closer look at this condition and how it can effect our brain, as well as our lifespan.

Meningitis Of The Brain
Meningitis Of The Brain | Source

How Does Mennigitis Kill you

The Meninges That Wrap Your Brain

The tissue that encapsulates your brain is called the meninges. It looks kind-of like thin leathery shipping paper, while serving the same duty as bubble wrap: it keeps your brain and spinal cord protected from the things that can bring harm from the world around you. The meninges have three distinct layers, the dura mater, the arachnoid layer, and the pia matter. Below you can see the role each layer of the meninges serve inside your skull.

The Three Layers Of The Meninges

  1. Dura Matter - Keeps the brain securely in place, preventing it from sloshing around inside your head.
  2. Arachnoid Layer - This layer has blood cells that filter and clean the fluid surrounding the brain, acting like your brain's housekeeper.
  3. Pia Mater - This is a very vital layer, in that it fits tightly around your entire brain like shrink-wrap, feeding the brain—via blood vessels—its much needed supply of oxygen and glucose.

Meningitis Facts Quiz

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Sick Meninges Are Called Meningitis

When the layers of the meninges get attacked, causing inflammation and infection, it is called meningitis. An injury to the skull or a virus can cause meningitis. But the most deadly meningitis results from bacterial infection. Meningococcus meningitis—or meninccalgoco disease—is the very deadliest form of bacterial meningitis of them all. It is the most widely, and most readily spread form of the disease by person to person interaction.

How Is Meningitis Spread Person To Person

  • coughing
  • sneezing
  • kissing
  • handshaking
  • saliva
  • close contact between humans

What You Think Really Does Matter

Do you know someone who has had meningitis of the brain?

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Symptoms Of Bacterial Meningitis

Signs Of Meningococcus Meningitis

You will first feel the symptoms of meningitis as the body encounters a high fever and significant sensitivity to light, accompanied by a stiff neck and one whopper of a headache. Purple bruising, or a purple looking rash will be evident on your skin as capillaries begin to leak out blood. These symptoms quickly escalate as the bacterial infection marches toward deeper areas inside your brain. This is when your body begins to go haywire; projectile vomiting, confusion and serious disorientation take hold. This is all far too difficult to manage as you discover you are having to fight to simply stay awake as seizures may arrive in wave after wave.

African Meningitis Belt Is The Worlds Most Affected Area

Niger Africa :
African Meningitis Belt

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The African Meningitis Belt; Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, and Niger were accountable for 65% of all cases in Africa - effects up to 800 people per 100,000.

Meningitis Breaches The Blood-brain Barrier

The brain's layer of protective material will soon give way as the unforgiving meningitis infection marches forward, chomping away at the blood-brain barrier. This barrier won't stand a chance at doing its job to keep toxins out of your gray matter at this point; the infection now has the upper-hand. The wounded blood cells are going to leak into your brain, clogging the blood vessels. A buildup of liquid in and around the brain (cerebral edema) begins drowning your now vulnerable brain. The brain damage will bring seizures, that will push your body into a state of shock. This occurs because your brain is no longer in control of your blood flow, which will completely switch-off the brain as far too much damage has taken place. Not long after, your life will come to an end.

The End Of The Meningitis Line

Even as in America, contracting meningitis may be less likely than in other countries it still happens. So, be sure to keep its manner of spread—coughing, sneezing, saliva, kissing, sharing utensils, public drinking fountain, etc.—in the forefront of your mind, so it won't end up wreaking havoc inside it. In the USA, college and high school age students seem to be at the highest level of risk. For this reason alone, it is important to educate yourself, and your kids on how to stay as safe as possible from contracting meningitis of the brain. Here's wishing you good health.

CDCs Advice Regarding Meningitis

Centers For Disease Control And Prevention - What you should know about the disease vaccines, symptoms and prevention.

Meningitis Symptoms Video

Comments for "Symptoms Of Meningitis Of The Brain"

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  • Docmo profile image

    Mohan Kumar 

    9 years ago from UK

    What a truly useful hub on meningitis. There is plenty of valuable info here on a terrible disease that is thankfully getting less prevalent with new approaches to prevention and treatment.

  • mary615 profile image

    Mary Hyatt 

    9 years ago from Florida

    Very informative and interesting Hub. This is indeed a terrible disease. I can't imagine parents not getting their children vaccinated against it. My daughter had to get the shot before entering college. There is a viral meningitis, too, I believe.

    I voted this Hub UP, etc.

  • Alecia Murphy profile image

    Alecia Murphy 

    9 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

    This is great information, especially now because of the outbreak. I didn't know Oscar Wilde died of it either. All I knew was that it could be contracted in dormitories and close quarters so I got vaccinated before I went to school. But I didn't know how fast it could affect a person's well-being. Voting up, interesting, and useful!

  • jennzie profile image


    9 years ago from Pennsylvania

    Meningitis is definitely scary. It's very important to know the symptoms so that treatment can be started before any irreversible damage is done. Voted up and useful.

  • Jools99 profile image

    Jools Hogg 

    9 years ago from North-East UK

    I think knowing what you look for is so important with meningitis,this is a very scary illness. Excellent advice.

  • K9keystrokes profile imageAUTHOR

    India Arnold 

    9 years ago from Northern, California

    @moonlake~ Oh my goodness! That is a lot of people to know personally to have had meningitis! So sorry for the loss, and resulting debility that this horrible disease can leave behind. Glad that your niece survived it's wrath, cochlear implants are a marvelous device! Sharing as much "plain to understand" awareness about meningitis is important for keeping school age (and everyone else) people healthy. Thank you for sharing your intense story!


    @Teresa Coppens~ It always breaks my heart to hear about babies who are lost to this monster. As your Toronto doctor points out, dense populations (like those found at schools) make the perfect breeding ground for this kind of disease. The vaccine would be my first choice under such conditions. Wishing you well, my friend. Thank you for sharing your insights.


    @CClitgirl~ You are so right! The earlier it is detected the better chance of surviving it becomes. Dorms are the real breeding ground for this despicable disease, and unfortunately precautions there can be few. Thanks for making by, CC. Always glad you see here.


    @Tonipet~ Being aware of the symptoms you list in your comments is so important to staying healthy. When you think about sneezing, coughing, saliva, handshaking and the others it is interesting that these are the things that get us sick with the simplest of common colds. So, being safe in the face of these interactions can make all of the difference when it comes to catching a cold, or deadly meningitis! Wishing you health and happiness.


  • K9keystrokes profile imageAUTHOR

    India Arnold 

    9 years ago from Northern, California

    @rebeccamealy~ You're right, with school starting meningitis is one thing parents want to know about before sending their kids back to class! Meningitis is a very scary thing that can take a life, or change it greatly in a very short number of hours! I am glad you like the illustrations, ma'am. Thanks for making it by!


    @cherylone~ Wow, what a frightening time that must have been for you! I am so happy for you that your daughter is doing fine now. I appreciate your comments.


    @billybuc~Thanks Billy, it is indeed a deadly ugly disease.


    @Doc Sonic~ Honored you shared your thoughts, sir. I wouldn't wish meningitis on anyone, even an enemy of the worst kind! I am like you, grateful I have never had to deal with it attacking my brain! I am so pleased that you made it by to leave your remarks!


    @theclevercat~ (or crazycat as Doc would say (he-he)! Rachel I get so concerned the more I think about just how easily this thing gets spread, and how unaware school aged kids can be. With just a few precautions in place, the chances of an outbreak can be reduced significantly. It makes me grateful for our modern western medicine and sad for those who reside in the African Meningitis Belt. Thank you for sharing your thoughts here today. I am always glad to find you in the comments section.


    @kellyward~Being a nurse, you know that this stuff works at a freakishly fast pace. It is so scary when I think about the medical staff, and how this disease is spread. I hope you guys have serious measures in place to protect yourselves. I am always amazed at the courage of those who run into the face of danger, to save those who cannot run away from it. Thank you for doing what you do, Kelly. I really appreciate your comments.


  • Tonipet profile image

    Tonette Fornillos 

    9 years ago from The City of Generals

    Hello K9. I never thought coughing, sneezing, kissing, handshaking, saliva and close contact between humans could bring really scary illnesses. This is a very informative hub, thank you so much for thinking of sharing, now we're all aware, I am aware of meningitis. My votes up and really useful.

  • cclitgirl profile image

    Cynthia Calhoun 

    9 years ago from Western NC

    Holy moly! How terrible is meningitis! I've heard of it, I knew it's broken out in college dorms, but I HAD NO IDEA how horribly awful! It seems like early recognition of the symptoms is extremely important! Whew!

  • Teresa Coppens profile image

    Teresa Coppens 

    9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Thankfully in Ontario we have the option of getting the vaccine for this horrible disease. I knew someonevyears ago who lost their weeks old child to this horrible disease. It is more common in high density areas and as our doctor is in Toronto he highly recommended the vaccine as school age children are more at risk. Thanks Indie for providing such a reader friendly description of this horrible disease. Excellent job and I will be sharing!

  • moonlake profile image


    9 years ago from America

    My niece had meningitis when she was a baby she lost her hearing and now has a cochlear implant. Thanks goodness she lived. It's more common than people think I know of at least three children that had it besides my niece. One passed away. Our friend had it he lived. It's a horrible disease and I always worried about it with our kids and grandkids. Voted Up.

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    What a horrible disease. As a nurse I know just how destructive meningitis can be. thanks for sharing this information. Voted up! Kelley

  • theclevercat profile image

    Rachel Vega 

    9 years ago from Massachusetts

    It's scary to think how quickly this can debilitate someone. Thank you for putting such a serious topic in plain language.

  • Doc Sonic profile image

    Glen Nunes 

    9 years ago from Cape Cod, Massachusetts

    Wow, your descriptions really paint a scary picture. This is something I've never had to deal with - and hopefully never will. Thanks for raising people's awareness of this.

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 

    9 years ago from Olympia, WA

    Very well-written hub about a deadly, ugly disease. Well done!

  • cherylone profile image

    Cheryl Simonds 

    9 years ago from Connecticut

    Great hub. I learned about meningitis when my daughter contracted it at 2 months of age. Fortunately, she lived and is strong and healthy today. Glad you got the information out there.

  • rebeccamealey profile image

    Rebecca Mealey 

    9 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

    How scary. This definitely "food for thought" and like you say, as school time comes around again. Your graphic art work is awesome, I wish I could do that!


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