Renowned English guitarist Jeff Beck, who pioneered blues, jazz and rock ‘n’ roll genres and gained fame as a member of the Yardbirds died on January 10 at the age of 78. According to a statement posted on his official social media handle, “On behalf of his family, it is with deep and profound sadness that we share the news of Jeff Beck’s passing”. He died after suddenly contracting bacterial meningitis, his team added. “His family requests privacy as they process this tremendous loss,” the post stated.
What is bacterial meningitis?
Bacterial meningitis is a serious and potentially life-threatening infection of the protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. The most common cause of bacterial meningitis is the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis, but other bacteria such as Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae and Listeria monocytogenes can also cause the infection. In addition to fungal and bacterial causes, meningitis can also be caused by viruses. Most bacterial meningitis can result in paralysis, stroke, convulsions, sepsis and even death if left untreated.
According to Healthline, the symptoms can appear suddenly, sometimes within a few hours or gradually over a day or two. The symptoms of bacterial meningitis include sudden onset of fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea and vomiting, sensitivity to light, confusion and disorientation, fatigue, seizures, skin rash and difficulty in breathing
If you have bacterial meningitis symptoms, seek medical attention right away. Your doctor will likely treat the condition with antibiotics as soon as possible. Parents of babies and toddlers under the age of two should also keep an eye out for any lingering irritability or lack of interest in eating, as these can be signs of meningitis.
How is bacterial meningitis caused?
Meningitis-causing bacteria can reside in both your body and the surroundings. When these bacteria enter your bloodstream and make their way to your brain and spinal cord to establish an infection, you develop bacterial meningitis. The majority of bacteria that cause this type of infection are passed from person to person by close physical contact like kissing, sneezing and coughing.
Bacteria can be found in the saliva and phlegm of an infected person. The bacteria are spread through the air when that individual coughs or sneezes. However, the majority of the bacteria that can cause bacterial meningitis are not spreadable. In reality, meningitis-causing bacteria are reportedly less contagious than cold and flu viruses. Certain germs that cause bacterial meningitis can also spread through food.
Seek medical attention right away if you are showing symptoms of bacterial meningitis. Antibiotics are typically used to treat the disease. If meningitis is detected early enough, a patient can recover completely with few or no long-term effects.
Other treatments may include corticosteroids, which can reduce inflammation, and fluids and electrolytes to prevent dehydration. In severe cases, a person with bacterial meningitis may need to be hospitalised and require additional treatments such as oxygen therapy or mechanical ventilation. It is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
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