According to statistics, about 1 in 3 children who have recovered from meningitis experience serious consequences of the disease. Some babies develop epileptic seizures, mental and learning problems, and some behavioral disorders.
Consequences of meningitis
The degree of influence of the disease on the future life of the child depends on the scale of the lesions inflicted by the infection. When recovering, the age of the baby, the state of the immune system, timely diagnosis of the problem and the correctness of the prescribed therapy play an important role.
1 in 5 children who have recovered may experience speech disorders and difficulties in communicating with peers. The disease affects short-term and long-term memory, and some babies may experience significant decreases in intelligence quotient (IQ). Survivors of intense bacterial meningitis in 2.4% of cases experience hearing loss and need a hearing aid.
Disorders of orientation in space, loss of body balance, frequent headaches, problems with coordination, fatigue, paralysis or spasms of different parts of the body are no less frequent consequences of the disease. In medical practice, there are also cases of loss of vision, which, nevertheless, can be considered relatively rare.
The most devastating effect on brain activity is bacterial meningitis caused by meningococcal infection. Weakened immunity and the early age of the baby are serious risks that can lead to the development of large-scale lesions and even death. Pneumococcal invasion may be considered less serious, but even with it, the likelihood of undesirable consequences remains high.
Neonatal meningitis can occur within the first month of a baby's life, but complete recovery is not uncommon. Most often, normal recovery occurs in patients with a viral form of the disease, in which most of the signs of brain damage are temporary and become invisible after a relatively short period of time.
It should be noted that despite the availability of various antimicrobial drugs, meningitis is causing the death of a large number of children. Modern diagnostic methods allow a quick conclusion, however, the treatment of the most serious forms of the disease requires hospitalization of the child. If the baby is not too sick, home treatment is considered. With the wrong approach to stopping the disease, complications such as seizures, a decrease in blood pressure, and a state of shock are possible. The heart, kidneys, and adrenal glands can also be affected, although this is rare.