Medically the evaluation by George Krucik, MD, MBA — created by Ann Pietrangelo — updated on January 22, 2018

Meningitis causes swelling in the central nervous system, affecting the entire body and also potentially causing long-term effects.

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Meningitis is ede of the membranes approximately the mind and spinal cord. There space different types of meningitis, yet most are resulted in by viruses or bacteria. Viral meningitis deserve to make you really sick, however it regularly doesn’t leaving lingering effects. Bacterial meningitis is more serious. It progresses rapidly and can reason permanent damage or even become life-threatening.

Quick diagnosis and treatment can assist prevent some of the potential irreversible side effects. If you have symptoms the meningitis, watch your medical professional without delay. Anyone can acquire meningitis, yet it’s more common in babies, children, and adolescents.


Central nervous System

The main nervous device is comprised of the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. Meningitis is an epidemic that reasons the protective membrane of the nervous system to swell. Inflammation the the brain and spinal cord can affect every component of your body. Fever and also other symptoms have the right to come ~ above suddenly and progress really quickly, causing disastrous effects.

Headache have the right to be very early warning sign of meningitis. Residual headaches might be a trouble for part time. Inflammation that the mind can cause a wide range of problems, consisting of cognitive issues and also seizures. Trouble through memory and concentration may last well after the illness has passed. Children may be left through lingering finding out difficulties.

Swelling in the mind can additionally interfere v the senses. It can reason ringing in the ears (tinnitus), partial hear loss, or deafness. It may cause speech problems. Light sensitivity, eye pain, and loss that vision space possible.

Inflammation and also fever can cause loss the appetite. Ailing stomach, nausea, and also vomiting are common. Infants and also young children may become fussy, irritable, and an overwhelming to comfort. And also excessive sleepiness is a symptom the meningitis, so it may be hard to wake a resting child. Untreated, meningitis can lead to coma.

Poor coordination, dizziness, and also clumsiness might remain for part time ~ a bout through meningitis. Youngsters may have emotional troubles following the illness, consisting of clinginess, moodiness, and sleep disturbances.

Diagnostic trial and error may include brain imaging and spinal fluid analysis (spinal tap).


As bacteria main point in her bloodstream, they might release toxins (septicemia). Septicemia is a life- threatening condition. Bleeding under the skin starts turn off looking choose a gentle rash. As blood press falls and circulation slows, blood vessels become damaged.

The rashes spreads and darkens to a deep red or dark purple. The lungs and also kidneys may deteriorate, and also poor circulation place the fingers, toes, arms, and legs at danger of amputation.

Diagnostic testing may include examining the blood for evidence of bacteria. If hospitalized, intravenous fluids, steroids, or antibiotics may be given as component of your treatment.


With the onset of fever, the skin might look flushed. If septicemia set in and blood vessels end up being damaged, you’ll see proof on the skin. At first, your skin may simply look a little blotchy. You could mistake symptoms of septicemia because that tiny scratches or a boy rash. The rashes can show up anywhere on the body.

As the infection worsens, the rashes spreads and also gets darker, eventually resembling large bruises. In part cases, the rash can cause permanent scarring.

The “glass test” deserve to be supplied to test because that meningitis. If you push a drink glass versus a rash, it have to fade. If it’s meningitis, you will do it still have the ability to view the rash plainly through the glass. Keep in mind that the glass test isn’t 100 percent accurate. It’s best to check with her doctor.


Stiff neck and earlier are usual in meningitis. It may become challenging to turn your neck at all. In major cases, the head, neck, and spine become painfully rigid and also arched (opisthotonos). Babies and also young children are much more likely to suffer opisthotonos 보다 older people. A baby through meningitis may produce a high-pitched scream as soon as you shot to choose them up. Share stiffness may continue long after ~ the illness gets rid of up, and arthritis can additionally be an after ~ effect.

For infants, a chop or bulging fontanel (the soft point out on peak of a baby’s head) is a sign of inflammation the the brain. If your infant reflects this symptom, seek medical attention immediately.

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Muscle weak is a typical symptom of meningitis, both throughout the illness and in the months that follow. Muscle spasms, body aches, or generalized weakness in some parts of the body might occur.