While most fungal infections aren’t that serious and can be treated with simple home remedies or creams, there are some that are dangerous and can even be deadly. Fungal meningitis, while rare, is one of those fungal infections.
Fungal meningitis is one of rarest types of fungal infections, and the most common cause of it is fungus spreading through the blood to the spinal cord. Just about anyone can get fungal meningitis, but it’s most common in people who have weakened immune systems. For example, people with HIV, cancer, or diabetes are at a higher risk to become infected with fungal meningitis.
Unlike many infections, fungal meningitis is not spread from person to person. People get fungal meningitis when a fungus travels through the bloodstream from a different place in the body. From there, it goes to the brain or spinal cord.
It’s also possible to develop the infection after taking a medicine that weakens your immune system. This could be something like a steroid, a medicine taken an organ transplant, or anti-TNF medications.
Some of the more common symptoms of fungal meningitis are:
- Stiff neck
- Sensitivity to light
If you suspect that you have fungal meningitis, it’s important for you to visit a doctor for a diagnosis as soon as possible. They will collect samples of both blood and cerebrospinal fluid to send out to a lab for testing. It’s important to find the cause of your specific case of fungal meningitis.
If it’s found that you do have a case of fungal meningitis, you will be given high doses of antifungal medication (usually through an IV). How long it takes to treat fungal meningitis depends entirely on the strength of your immune system. For those who have a disease like HIV or cancer, it will take longer.