Recognizing Meningitis Symptoms
When meningitis strikes, it can feel like your typical run-of-the-mill bad headache or flu. But the difference is that it’s an infection that spreads -- and fast. If you or someone you know is experiencing these signs and symptoms of meningitis, get immediate medical attention.
Meningitis is inflammation of the membranes surrounding your brain and spinal cord, usually due to infection. The onset of symptoms depends on the organism that is causing the infection.
When someone is infected with bacterial meningitis, symptoms usually come on quickly and worsen within a couple hours, often leading to severe damage or death. The more common and treatable viral meningitis progresses a bit more slowly, typically growing worse over a few days. Determining which form of meningitis a person has is impossible without spinal fluid testing (aka spinal tap), so don't try to diagnosis symptoms yourself.
While there's no need to see a doctor at the first sign of a headache or fever, you should see a doctor immediately if you or anyone in your family experiences the following symptoms that seem to worsen rapidly.
signs & Symptoms of meningitis
In children and adults over the age of 2, the first signs of both viral and bacterial meningitis are common but intense ailments including the following:
Meningitis signs in newborns & babies
Detecting meningitis in babies can be more difficult, but here are a few signs:
As always, this article is not intended to diagnose or treat any illness or disease mentioned.
More on meningitis
The opinions expressed in this article are of the author and the author alone. They do not reflect the opinions of SheKnows, LLC or any of its affiliates and they have not been reviewed by an expert in a related field or any member of the SheKnows editorial staff for accuracy, balance or objectivity. Content and other information presented on the Site are not a substitute for professional advice, counseling, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical or mental health advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on SheKnows. SheKnows does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.