Meningitis symptoms

Spinal meningitis is a disease that develops when the protective membrane covering the brain become inflamed because of bacteria or viruses. In rare instances a person can get meningitis from certain drugs, head injuries and cancer. Before meningitis is treated the exact cause of it must be discovered so the appropriate treatment can be given. This is a very serious illness and it is vital for the person to get medical care as soon as possible when symptoms of meningitis develop.

Some of the very first meningitis symptoms to occur when a person is infected with it are fever and headaches accompanied by a stiff neck. It will be hard to touch your chest with you chin when you have meningitis because the neck will be too stiff. Nausea, vomiting and dizziness are also meningitis symptoms. Meningitis symptoms can often include the inability to tolerate noise. This condition is called Phonophobia. Photophobia is another symptom which means that the person suffering from meningitis will complain that all of their senses are overwhelmed. Irritability is a symptom of meningitis too. Also, exposure to light can be painful to the eyes of someone who has meningitis.

Meningitis symptoms in children can be very severe. Children often become delirious when they are infected with spinal meningitis. Meningitis symptoms in infants can include the swelling of the soft spot on the top of the infant’s head. Sometimes people with meningitis will become semi-conscious. Muscle aches and muscle weakness are also common symptoms of meningitis that are accompanied with the high fever, headache and stiff neck. Sometimes people will develop a skin rash also. The rash normally starts out like a normal pink rash. It can also be red, purple or brownish and eventually it will begin to look like a spotted bruise.

Meningitis symptoms will normally develop according to the type or cause of the meningitis. There are different time periods between exposures to meningitis infections. This time period in between is called the incubation period. The incubation period is different for the various microbes that cause meningitis. If a person has bacterial meningitis the symptoms can appear quickly and there is no fixed incubation time. Bacterial meningitis can also take a few days to a few weeks before the symptoms appear.

If meningitis symptoms are present the medical doctor will first do a blood test for it. Chest x-rays can also be done for meningitis to further confirm the diagnosis. However, a spinal tap is the most reliable test for it. Spinal taps are not without danger of there own however and should be done only if needed. A spinal tap can leave a cerebral mass lesion.

Meningitis is contagious and can be spread from one person to another when they are living in close quarters. For example, college kids living in dorm rooms, boarding-school students and high school sports teams sharing close quarter locker rooms are all at risk for infection. Treating meningitis in the early stages of the infection can result in a successful outcome. This is why it is so important to seek medical treatment at the first signs of meningitis symptoms.

Viruses can also cause meningitis if they spread by the bloodstream into the spinal fluid and around the spinal cord. Bacterial meningitis can begin this way also. However, sometimes bacteria enter into the bloodstream from a severe head injury and can reach the spinal fluid. When this happens meningitis can develop. Severe ear and sinus infections can develop into meningitis also. Meningococcal and pneumococcal are two common germs that cause meningitis. Later stages of meningitis symptoms include loss of hearing, blurred vision and loss of consciousness.

Last updated on Mar 3rd, 2010 and filed under Neurological Disorders. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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