NHS Service

What is Meningitis and how do you treat it?

Meningitis is an infection of the protective membrane that surrounds the brain and the spinal cord called the meninges hence the name of the illness. Meningitis can affect anyone but is most common in teenagers, younger children and young adults.

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How does meningitis spread?

Meningitis is caused by both bacteria and viruses – there are several different types. The main ways to spread meningitis are sneezing, coughing, kissing and sharing utensils and cutlery.  Some people carry the virus or bacteria in their nose or throat but are not made ill by it so this is why it can be spread inadvertly.  These people are described as asymptomatic which means they are not showing any symptoms.  

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