This is a rare form of meningitis in Australia. It usually develops slowly. Most people contract this disease through poor living standards and through other illnesses like HIV infection. TB meningitis is common in children under 5 years of age because of their low immunity.
Those who suffer from TB which usually affects the lungs can progress to TB meningitis, but it is rare.
Because the disease progresses slowly it is often difficult to diagnose and it is often advanced before treatment begins.
Like most meningitis, the bacterium enters the body through droplet inhalation – sneezing or coughing from an infected person.
If the bacteria travel through to the brain or the meninges, small abscesses form. These abscesses can burst and cause TB meningitis.
The infection causes pressure on the brain resulting in nerve damage.
Countries where TB is prevalent
- South East Asia
- East Mediterranean
- Western Pacific
- South America
Treatment for TB meningitis
Once the patient is diagnosed with TB meningitis a series of antibiotics are administered including steroids. An individual care plan will be arranged with your doctor.
You can also get vaccinated against TB through the BCG vaccination and this is recommended for those people who travel to the above countries on a regular basis like Fly-in-Fly-Out (FIFO) workers.