2. Fungal meningitis
Meningitis is a deadly infection that attacks the spinal cord, and there are four types: bacterial, viral, chemical, and fungal. Thankfully, fungal meningitis is rare and not extremely contagious. The spores can be inhaled in the air or from infected soil, and the infection spreads through the bloodstream to the spinal cord.
Meningitis causes inflammation of the spinal cord lining and the brain. The symptoms are stiff neck, headache, fever, light sensitivity, nausea and vomiting, weakness, and numbness. Without treatment, the sufferer is likely to lapse into a coma. Other complications include blood clots and bleeding issues as well as difficulty speaking and balance problems.
Treatment typically involves intravenously administered anti-fungal medications. Unlike bacterial meningitis, the fungal version can take a month or more to successfully cure.
As with most infections, people with underlying conditions are most susceptible. Use of steroidal drugs and common medications for autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis can also lower immune response to this fungus.