What Is Infant Meningitis?

Infant Meningitis is a diagnosis no parent wants to hear.Instantly, there are so many questions running through your head. What doesthis mean? Will my child be alright? And what is infant meningitis, anyhow? Aswe seek to educate the public about the dangers of infant meningitis, the teamat Carpenter & Czelusta is dedicated to walking alongside parents in thiscrisis state.

Join us as we answer your questions and break down themystery of infant meningitis.


Simply put, infant meningitis is an inflammation of thebrain in those sweet babies. A virus causes most cases, but it can also bebacterial. Healthychildren.org defines the disease in this way.

"Meningitis is an inflammation of the tissues thatcover the brain and spinal cord. The inflammation sometimes affects the brainitself.
With early diagnosis and proper treatment, a child withmeningitis has a reasonable chance of a good recovery, though some forgas ofbacterial meningitis develop rapidly and have a high risk of complications."


The viruses that cause meningitis are as follows.

• Influenza: The flu can be potentially very dangerous ininfants. It is spread through an infected person coughing, sneezing, andcorning in close contact with the baty. Young babies should always stay out ofthe hands of a person with the flu.

• Measles and Mumps: This virus is widely controlled throughvaccination, but it is highly contagious. And if a baby comes in contact withsomeone with measles or mumps, it can be severe

• West Nile Virus: West Nile spreads through mosquitoes. So,if you know the bugs are bad when your little one comes into this world, keepthem protected from bites.

• Non-polio Enteroviruses: These viruses spread through,stool, saliva, and eye and nose secretions. And this is the most common causeof viral meningitis in the U.S.

• Herpes Simplex Virus: HSV can be contracted through themother at birth or through a kiss from someone unaware they have it. Itpresents in the form of genital warts and cold sores.

• Varicella-zoster Virus: This is the famous chickenpox andshingles virus. Of course, it is highly contagious and spreads through contact,breathing, and talking.


Bacterial meningitis is the more serious of the two, butboth should receive aggressive treatment.

• Group B Streptococcus: Passed from mother to infant duringlabor; if the mother is infected with strep and not treated, the baby is atrisk.

• Streptococcus Pneumontae and Hemophilus Infuenzactype b:Hib spreads through coughing and sneezing. It was once more prevalent, but thevaccine has helped to curb the virus.

• Escherichia Coli: E. coli is spread from mother to babyduring labor and birth and can also be spread by eating contaminated food.

• Listeria Monocytogenes: This virus is spread throughcontaminated food, as well. If a mother consumes a portion of food contaminatedwith this virus, the fetus can become infected with Listeria.

• Neisseria Meningitides: This passes through saliva.

So, which Infants are at risk, and how is it contracted, youask? Keep reading to learn more.


Experts are unclear as to why some babies contract thedisease. Perhaps it is due to weak or immature immune systems. But babies undertwo months of age are at the most significant risk of getting the terribledisease. Additionally, children at higher risk may fit into one of thefollowing categories.

Babies under two months old since their Immune systems arestill developing.

Those with constant sinus infections.

Babies with severe head and skull injuries.

Children who have recently had brain surgery.

And sometimes those with cochlear implants.

If your child is in any of these categories, they shouldstay away from sick individuals. Furthermore, your pediatrician should be onalert to the potential of the condition.


The symptoms of meningitis may not be evident at first. Theybegin looking like any other bad day for an infant. They may seem sleepy andirritable, not want to feed, and eventually have a fever. And as you probablyknow, these are things a new parent sees regularly.

Therefore, knowing the symptoms of progression is essentialto getting treatment right away.

• Bulging fontanel: The fontanel is the soft spot on the topof the infant's head. An increase in fluid and pressure on the brain may beseen in this way.

• Fever: Those under three months of age may not presentwith a fever at all But, a high temperature is a clear sign of infection.

• Cold hands and feet with a warm torso

• Chills

• Stiff neck: The little one may hold its body in a rigidposition or its head tilted back

Irritability and crying, including when being handled

• Rapid breathing

• Persistent vomiting

• Refusing to feed

Extreme sleepiness: This is when a parent is unable to wakethe baby.

• Red or dark rash or marks on the body

Seek Immediate emergency medical care if your babyexperiences any of the signs of meningitis.


Fortunately, this disease is uncommon. However, whencontracted, it can pose hazardous risks for the infant. And unfortunately,meningitis can have lasting effects on babies and can be fatal, Immediate andaggressive medical attention is the key to recovery and avoiding furthercomplications.

When a doctor is concerned about the possibility ofmeningitis, a blood test will be ordered. And they may even seed a spinal tapto test the fluids In the spine. If the tests are positive for bacterialmeningitis, the child will be admitted to the hospital. There they will receiveIntravenous antibiotics and Buids, while the doctor watches closely for anyfurther issues.

Most children can recover from the viral version in seven toten days. However, with the bacterial type, the children may take closer to 21days of antibiotics to kick the disease. That will depend on the bacteriacontracted and the severity of the disease at the time of discovery.

On the other hand, some do not fare so well. It is essentialto remember that it can be fatal in sound and treat it as such. In addition,serious complications can arise from infant meningitis, such as those listedhere.

• Nervous system problems

• Deafness

• Seizures

• Paralysis

• Learning difficulties

The quicker it is diagnosed and treated, the better thechances are to avoid these devastating issues.


Some types of vaccinations will help avoid the possibilityof developing infant meningitis. Your pediatrician will know the schedule ofwhen to administer these life-saving vaccinations. Although it is tough to seea needle prick a precious newborn, it is much better than the alternative. Hereare some of the vaccinations your doctor will suggest.

• Meningococcal Vaccine

• Hib Vaccine

• Pneumococcal Vaccine

Also, you may hear the need for vaccination againstmeningitis later in life. The Meningococcal Vaccine will be administered toadults in the first year of college, in the military, after certain illnesses,and when traveling extensively.


Nurse attorney Christa Carpenter and board-certifiedattorney Eric Czelusta are the unparalleled Dual-Ex - Expertise Trial Lawyersyou want working on your case.

No one wants ever to be the victim of medical malpractice orinsurance disputes when dealing with the devastation caused by InfantMeningitis. But Carpenter & Czelusta will stand by your side. When choosingour team, you partner with the experience of dually Licensed healthcare andlegal professionals who genuinely care.

Is dual-expertise just the team you need for an InfantMeningitis claim? Contact us today to discuss your options.


From the Panhandle to the Keys, the fine people of Florida'sCoast trust in the Lawyers from Palm Harbor, Carpenter & Czelusta Our triallawyers have been serving Florida victims since 1998. We faithfully serve thecommunity's legal needs by practicing in all types of personal injury matters,including auto accidents, brain injury, nursing home abuse, medicalmalpractice, and wrongful death.

As we maintain a sense of integrity and professional ethics,our firm is dedicated to the client's needs. Both lawyers are committed topursuing a fair trial, as they collaborate with experts and expert witnesses onyour behalf.

"With Carpenter & Czelusta, you'll experiencecaring personal attention, legal subject matter expertise, and trial expertisethat leads to remarkable results."

Should you have any questions regarding our areas ofservice, policies, or procedures, please contact our offices to discuss how wecan best serve you.

Give us a call for a Free Case Evaluation. We are more thanhappy to talk with you about your case and answer any preliminary questions youmay have.

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