Meningitis is a medical condition caused by inflammation of the
protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, known
collectively as the meninges. The inflammation is caused by infection
with viruses, bacteria, or other microorganisms, and less commonly by
certain drugs or diseases. Meningitis is potentially life threatening
due to the inflammation's proximity to the brain and spinal cord;
therefore it is a medical emergency. The most common symptoms of
meningitis are headache and neck stiffness associated with fever,
confusion or altered consciousness, and an inability to tolerate light
(photophobia) or loud noises (phonophobia). If a rash is present, it
may indicate a particular cause of meningitis; for instance, meningitis
caused by meningococcal bacteria may be accompanied by a characteristic
rash. Meningitis is diagnosed by a lumbar puncture, which involves
inserting a needle into the spinal canal to extract a sample of
cerebrospinal fluid, the fluid that envelops the brain and spinal cord.
Meningitis must be treated promptly with antibiotics and sometimes
antiviral drugs. Meningitis can lead to serious long-term consequences
such as deafness, epilepsy, hydrocephalus and cognitive deficits. Some
forms of meningitis may be prevented by immunization.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
By the Coinage Act, the United States Mint was founded and the U.S.
currency was decimalized.
War of the Second Coalition: British forces led by Vice Admiral Horatio
Nelson defeated the Dano-Norwegian fleet at the Battle of Copenhagen
off the coast of Copenhagen.
Argentine special forces invaded the Falkland Islands, sparking the
John Gotti, the crime boss of the Gambino crime family, was convicted
of racketeering, murder, conspiracy to commit murder, loansharking,
obstruction of justice, illegal gambling and tax evasion.
Operation Defensive Shield: Approximately 200 Palestinians fled
advancing Israeli forces into the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem,
starting a month-long standoff.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
1. A stew of lamb and vegetables.
2. A kidney bean
Wikiquote quote of the day:
Forgiveness is the offspring of a feeling of heroism, of a noble heart,
of a generous mind, whilst forgetfulness is only the result of a weak
memory, or of an easy carelessness, and still oftener of a natural
desire for calm and quietness. Hatred, in the course of time, kills the
unhappy wretch who delights in nursing it in his bosom.
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