An infection that can be bacterial, viral, and fungal causes meningitis. It causes swelling and inflammation of the membranes that surround your brain and spinal cord causing pain and confusion. If the infection is viral it can eventually get better by itself. If it is bacterial or fungal, however, it needs to be treated with antibiotics as soon as possible. If it is not treated, it can become fatal within days. No matter which form of meningitis you are unlucky enough to contract, the symptoms will be the same.
Because symptoms of meningitis are very similar to those of the flu, it can be confusing as to which you have developed. Even if you have been vaccinated against meningitis you should know what the symptoms are in case of developing it. If you are undergoing the first 5 of these symptoms you should get to the doctor as soon as possible:
- Migraine, including sensitivity to light
- Stiff, sore neck
- Extreme tiredness and sleepiness
As an adult, the above symptoms are common. In infants or newborns, however, you should look out for the following:
- Incessant crying
- Extreme sleepiness
- Poor feeding
- A bulge in their soft spot on their head
- Stiffness in the neck and body
Because you cannot be sure if the infection is viral or bacterial or fungal, if you notice any or all of these symptoms in yourself, a friend, or your child you should get to the doctor or the hospital as soon as possible. The symptoms can turn fatal if not treated and swelling in the brain and seizures can cause serious damage to a person. Even if you or your child have been vaccinated, you should take these symptoms very seriously.
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