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MAIN Arrow to HealthHealth Arrow to DiseaseDiseases Arrow to MeningitisMeningitis

meningitis rash
Typical purpura or petechiae rash
associated with bacterial meningitis.

also see -> rash photo gallery

Meningitis is an inflammation of the fluid and membranes or meninges (muh-NIN-jeez) surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

Of the various forms of meningitis, viral meningitis is the most common form, usually not life-threatening, and currently preventable with the use of menigitis vaccines.

Bacterial meningitis, however, is the most dangerous form and if not treated quickly enough may be fatal.

Therefore, it is always highly advisable to see a doctor for a timely diagnosis whenever any symptoms of meningitis occur.

Meningitis signs & symptoms

Severe headache is the most common symptom of bacterial meningitis, followed by neck stiffness, fever and confused mental state.

Besides the classic symptoms noted above, other symptoms of bacterial meningitis may include:

  • leg or knee pain and stiffness

  • inability to tolerate bright light or loud noises

  • red "blood blister" rash

  • seizures

  • swelling of the cranial fontanelle (soft spot) in infants

Bacterial meningitis treatment

All suspected cases of bacterial meningitis, however mild, require emergency medical treatment. This typically includes an immediate dose of a broad-spectrum antibiotic and corticosteroids to reduce inflammation.

Depending on symptoms, medical options may include treatment for brain swelling, shock, seizures or severe dehydration. Follow-up care, especially for infants and children, may also require frequent post-recovery check-ups to test for related neurological disorders such as hearing difficulties or hearing loss.

More about meningitis around the Web:

- Good overview from with information on typical ages of children who may develop the disease, a list of common symptoms, when to call a doctor, with clear explanation of diagnosis and treatment options.

Meningitis - Merck Manual - An expert guide to acute bacterial meningitis and related diseases detailing signs and symptoms, causes, and common treatment options.

MFA - Meningitis Foundation of America - The latest news & headlines related to meningitis plus a complete guide to causes, symptoms, treatment & support, online forum, event calendar, resource directory.

This information is intended as reference and not as medical advice.
All treatment decisions should be made by medical professionals.

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