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Hi, I'm 17 years old and recently I had an infection in my middle ear caused probably by the complication of the flu I had. Anyway, the flu got complicated, bacterial infection developed and it spread to my right ear. When it happened I rushed to my doctor and he gave me some antibiotics and after receiving treatment I totally recovered within a week or so. He also told me that I was lucky because the infection could have spread even to my brain causing cerebritis. I would like to know what is cerebritis and how would the bacteria spread through the bone to my brain?

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Your doctor, although he exaggerated a bit, was right in essence. It is possible for bacterial infection to spread from your middle ear into your skull. That is possible because the scull is not totally closed and isolated from the outside world and there are fissures and openings, especially in the base of the scull that can be the pathway for the spreading of the infection. Your middle ear is situated in the temporal bone, which forms the base of the skull. In the same time that bone forms the framework for the ear and the basis on which the brain resides. There is a fissure connecting the cavity of the brain with your middle ear, and it serves as a way for the infection to get to the brain. However those infections are very rare these days since most of the infections can be treated successfully with antibiotics before they reach the brain. Cerebritis is a wide term which basically means “inflammation of the brain”, cerebrum in Latin means brain. The term is used to describe the wide group of viral and bacterial infections such as meningitis, encephalitis, herpes simplex, rubella and so on. Cerebritis is exactly what you would have gotten if you didn’t get the appropriate treatment. If you have any more questions about this topic or any other issue concerning cerebritis feel free to post it here and we will do our best to answer your query.
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