Meningitis

Meningitis is an acute inflammation of the meninges, the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. The disease is usually the result of bacterial infection, but a number of viruses, fungi, and other microbial agents can also cause it. Meningitis can develop as well from noninfectious conditions such as tumors, lead poisoning, and reactions to vaccines. Meningococcal meningitis, caused by a bacterium, Neisseria meningitidis, is the only form that occurs in major epidemics. Also called cerebrospinal meningitis (CSM), it has been known in the past as "spotted fever," cerebrospinal fever, typhus cerebralis, and meningitis epidemica. Aseptic meningitis refers to inflammations of the meninges without detectable bacterial involvement. The most common causes are any of a number of viruses.

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