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Meningitis

Symptoms, Causes, Treatments, Questions & Related Topics

Key Points

  • Meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes around the brain and spinal cord, often caused by viral, bacterial, or fungal infections.
  • Early symptoms of meningitis in adults and children are similar to flu symptoms, including high fever, severe headache, nausea, vomiting, and confusion among others.
  • Newborns and infants, especially those without vaccinations, are at a higher risk and display symptoms like high fever, inactivity, irritability, difficulty eating, and neck and body stiffness.
  • Treatment for meningitis varies; bacterial meningitis is treated with corticosteroids and IV antibiotics, while viral meningitis is managed with over-the-counter pain medications, rest, and fluids.
  • Immediate medical attention is crucial if meningitis is suspected. The condition is also known by other names such as Cerebromeningitis, Encephalomeningitis, and Cerebrospinal fever.

What is Meningitis?

Meningitis is the inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord (called meninges). Most often, meningitis is caused by a viral infection, though it can also develop because of a bacterial or fungal infection too. Bacterial meningitis is the most serious form of this illness, though it is important that anyone showing symptoms of meningitis get checked out by a medical professional as quickly as possible. In its early stages, meningitis in adults and children tends to look a lot like the flu

What are the Symptoms of Meningitis?

Meningitis in Newborns & Infants

Newborns who have not had their vaccinations are also at an increased risk of meningitis. In newborns and infants, meningitis can cause:

  • High fever
  • Inactivity
  • Sleepiness and/or irritability
  • Difficulty eating
  • Stiffness in the neck and body
  • A bulge in the soft spot on the baby’s head
  • The inability to be comforted

Treatment of Meningitis

The way a person with meningitis is treated actually depends on the form of the disease that they have. Bacterial meningitis is treated with corticosteroids and IV antibiotics, while meningitis that’s caused by a virus is usually treated with over-the-counter pain medications and plenty of rest and fluids.

If you suspect that you or a loved one may have meningitis, promptly schedule an appointment at an urgent care clinic to get the treatment you need. 

Meningitis May Also be Known as

  • Cerebromeningitis
  • Encephalomeningitis
  • Cerebrospinal fever
  • Infectious disease&
  • Cerebrospinal meningitis
  • Brain fever
  • Epidemic meningitis
  • Meningoencephalitis
  • Leptomeningitis
  • Choriomeningitis

Frequently asked questions

  • What is Meningitis?

    Meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord, typically caused by viral, bacterial, or fungal infections.
  • What are the symptoms of meningitis in adults and children?

    Symptoms in adults and children are similar to the flu, including high fever, severe headache, nausea, vomiting, confusion, sleepiness, light sensitivity, lack of appetite, and seizures.
  • Are newborns and infants at risk of meningitis?

    Yes, newborns and infants, particularly those without vaccinations, are at an increased risk of meningitis.
  • How is meningitis treated?

    Treatment depends on the type of meningitis. Bacterial meningitis is treated with corticosteroids and IV antibiotics, while viral meningitis is usually managed with over-the-counter pain medications, rest, and fluids.
  • What should I do if I suspect someone has meningitis?

    If you suspect someone has meningitis, it's crucial to seek immediate medical attention.
  • Is meningitis known by other names?

    Yes, meningitis is also known by other names such as Cerebromeningitis, Encephalomeningitis, and Cerebrospinal fever.
  • What are the symptoms of meningitis in newborns and infants?

    Symptoms in this age group include high fever, inactivity, sleepiness, irritability, difficulty eating, neck and body stiffness, a bulging soft spot on the head, and inability to be comforted.
  • Are there different types of meningitis?

    Yes, meningitis can be caused by viral, bacterial, or fungal infections, each type has different treatments.

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