Meningitis is the inflammation of the membranes (meninges) surrounding a person's brain and spinal cord. The inflammation is typically caused an infection of the cerebral fluid.
Meningitis is typically caused by a bacteria, viruses, fungus or parasites that lead to an infection. Meningitis can also be caused by injury, illness or substances. When meningitis occurs, the membranes (meninges) become inflamed. Meninges are a collection of membranes the cover the brain and spinal cord. Their primary purpose is to protect the central nervous system. Inflammation of the meninges is caused by an infection of the fluid (cerebrospinal fluid) surrounding the brain and spinal cord. The most common form of meningitis is viral meningitis. The severity of meningitis varies depending on its form. There are 5 categories of meningitis - bacteria, viral, parasitic, fungal and non-infectious meningitis. Knowing the cause of meningitis is important because the infectiveness, spread, danger and treatment can differ.
To learn more about these types of meningitis, click here.