Meningitis is an inflammation (swelling) of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. A bacterial or viral infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord usually causes the swelling. However, injuries, cancer certain drugs and other types of infections also can cause meningitis. It is important to know the specific cause of meningitis because the treatment differs depending on the cause.

 

Signs and Symptoms

Meningitis symptoms include sudden onset of fever, headache, and stiff neck. There are often other symptoms, such as

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Photophobia (increased sensitivity to light)
  • Altered mental status (confusion)

In newborns and babies, the meningitis symptoms of fever, headache, and neck stiffness may be absent or difficult to notice. The baby may be irritable, vomit, feed poorly, or appear to be slow or inactive. In young babies, doctors may also look for a bulging fontanel (soft spot on infant’s head) or abnormal reflexes. If you think you, your baby or child has any of these symptoms, call the doctor right away.

For  more information:

https://www.cdc.gov/meningitis/index.html