Meningitis And The Different Types of This Disease
Introduction to Human Biology 1101-01
Prepared for: Professor Braun
January 14, 2013
Meningitis is an infection of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, which is called the meninges, and causes inflammation. This inflammation can be caused by a virus, bacteria, or other microorganisms, but can also be causes by certain types of drugs which is very rare. Meningitis is often a medical emergency because the inflammation is very close to the brain and spinal cord, and can severely damage the area. There are five different types of meningitis, which are bacterial, viral, fungal, parasitic, and non-infectious meningitis. All are caused by a different substance and treated with different types of medications. History
There is much debate on who was the first to discover meningitis. Reports of meningitis have dated back into the sixteenth century. Many believe that the father of western medicine, Hippocrates, was the first to discover meningitis. Hippocrates discovered the important consequences of the infection, and the clear clinical description of meningitis (Roos, Tunkel, & Scheld, 2004). Ibn Sina, or Avicenna, was the first to discover that meningitis was a disease, but many of his findings for meningitis were not much in detail and cannot be found today (Sarrafzadeh, et. al, 2011). He believed that many of his headaches were a pain from toxic drugs that caused the membranes surrounding his brain to swell. In 1768, Sir Robert Whytt discovered tuberculous meningitis, which was described as“dropsy of the brain.” Sir Robert Whytt also discovered tuberculosis, in which the connection between meningitis and tuberculosis was not discovered until the next century. One of the first meningitis outbreaks was recorded by Gaspard Vieusseux, in 1805, in Geneva, Switzerland. He wrote about an epidemic with people having a malignant...