What Is Meningitis?
April 24, 2007 11:02pm CST
Meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges, the lining that protects the brain and spinal cord. It is almost always caused by an infection, usually by a bacteria bacterial meningitis or a virus viral meningitis. In rare cases it can be triggered by a fungus or parasite. Meningitis occurs most commonly in young children under 5, those aged 17-25 who often live in close quarters like dormitories and barracks, and people over age 55. People with compromised immune systems, such as people with HIV or AIDS, are also at increased risk.