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Meningitis: Long-Term Problems - Topic Overview

People who have bacterial meningitis may have long-term complications, including:

  • Permanent brain damage. Meningitis can cause long-term problems such as hearing loss (ranging from slight to total), learning problems (including intellectual disabilities), seizures, vision problems (including blindness), paralysis of one or more parts of the body, behavior problems, or personality changes.
  • Long-term physical problems. Heart, liver, or intestinal problems or deformities of the arms and legs can develop. These usually occur in newborns and young children.
  • Vulnerable child syndrome. This condition can occur after a child recovers from any serious illness. Parents worry that their child will become sick again and try to protect the child from all illness. If the child notices the parents' worry, he or she may develop behavioral problems.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: December 06, 2012
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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