Meningitis is inflammation in the brain and the spine. Most cases are caused by a viral orbacterial disease.

Meningitis continues to be a serious global health threat with a high death rate. There is a difference in severity between the two main types.

It is usually milder than viral meningitis. If not treated immediately,bacterial meningitis can cause long-term problems.

Vaccines are available to prevent infection with some of the bacterial and viral organisms that can cause meningitis. Vaccinations have greatly reduced the death rate from bacterial meningitis.

The fatality rate of Meningitis is high and there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Meningitis epidemics happen around the world, particularly in Africa. Not everyone has easy access to the vaccine for the disease.

The United States has lower rates of infections than many other countries.

Bacterial meningitis statistics

At least 1.2 million cases of bacterial meningitis are estimated to occur every year around the world, estimates 2021 research.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 1 in 10 people who get bacterial meningitis die from the infection, even with treatment.

Without treatment, the death rate can be as high as 70 percent, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Several types of bacteria can cause meningitis, but the most common are:

  • Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib.)
  • Neisseria meningitidis (meningococcus)
  • Streptococcus agalactiae (group B streptococcus)
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus)

Hib. used to be the leading cause of bacterial meningitis in children under 5 years old. According to the CDC, roughly 4 percent of cases were fatal. But once the Hib. vaccine was introduced in 1989, the rate of invasive Hib. disease in young children decreased dramatically, to fewer than 1 case per 100,000 children.

Globally, deaths from meningitis have been decreasing over the last 2 decades, according to 2018 research. The highest death rates and likelihood rates of contracting meningitis remain in certain countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

Viral meningitis statistics

Viral meningitis is usually much less severe than bacterial meningitis. People with average immune systems will likely get better on their own from viral meningitis without treatment.

The type of virus causing the disease affects the death rate.

Most cases of viral meningitis are caused by non-polio enteroviruses. The death rate from these types of infections is very low. One study estimated the fatality rate from viral meningitis caused by enteroviruses at less than 1 percent.

Meningitis caused by West Nile virus, which is spread by mosquitoes, has an estimated 4 to 13 percent death rate. Likelihood of death is higher in people who are older, are immunocompromised, or have diabetes.

The respiratory droplets and throat secretions that come from coughing, sneezing, kissing, or sharing utensils can be used to transmit the disease.

If you eat contaminated food, you can contract some types ofbacteria that can cause Meningitis. Group B streptococcus can be passed from parent to child around the time of birth.

Babies, children, and people with a weakened immune system are at the highest risk of getting meningitis. Babies between 1 month and birth are more likely to have a severe viral infection.

In overcrowded households, student or military housing, or refugee camps, higher risk occurs when people live close together. Smoking can increase the risk of certain types of meningitis.

The risk of being killed by a disease in sub-Saharan Africa can be raised by traveling there.

Symptoms of the disease include a high temperature, vomiting, and headaches. The symptoms start a few days after a cold, or a vomiting.

Other symptoms of meningitis include:

  • cold hands and feet
  • There is a rash.
  • The neck is stiff.
  • There is confusion.
  • It is sensitive to bright lights.
  • There is a severe headaches.
  • “Is it possible that I’m Irrisponsible?”
  • In babies, crying is inconsolable.
  • high temperature

Research has found that 85 percent of children and teens who died from meningitis caused by N. meningitidis did so within 24 hours of diagnosis. If you or your child experiences the above symptoms, visit a doctor right away.

A medical emergency is caused by a disease. It must be treated with antibiotics and steroids.

According to the WHO, vaccination to prevent meningitis is the best way to lessen the disease burden.

There are currently three types of vaccines for meningitis. These include vaccines against:

  • Hib.
  • pneumococcus is a pneumococcus.
  • Meningococcus is a group of organisms.

Some of the vaccines are recommended for children and adolescents. Others are only recommended for people who are high risk. The United States has all of these vaccines.

It’s best to stay current on other vaccines as well. Vaccines for viruses such as chickenpox, measles, and influenza can also help prevent meningitis.

Vaccination isn’t 100 percent effective, but it is a substantial protective measure. Vaccines train your immune system to respond to an infection it hasn’t met yet.

Meningitis rates have declined drastically since vaccination started in the 1990s. In 2005, the CDC recommended vaccination with the MenACWY vaccine for all pre-teens and teens. Since then, meningococcal disease in adolescents decreased by over 90 percent.

Other ways to prevent infections with Viruses andbacteria are also available.

  • You can wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Clean and destroy frequently touched surfaces.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Keep sick children home.
  • Avoid bites from mosquitoes and other insects.

Meningitis deaths have declined since the introduction of the vaccine, but the disease is still considered a serious public health concern.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is leading an effort to defeat meningitis by 2030. One of its aims is to reduce cases of vaccine-preventable bacterial meningitis by 50 percent and deaths by 70 percent.

The best way to prevent disease is to get a vaccine. If you are vaccine-munished, you are less likely to die from the disease and have a milder one.