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Meningitis - Exams and Tests

Diagnosis of meningitis is based on a medical history, a physical exam, and tests.

Your doctor will almost always do a lumbar puncture. This is done by inserting a long, thin needle into the spinal canal. The doctor uses the needle to collect samples of spinal fluid to check for bacteria and viruses.

Recommended Related to Children's Vaccines

Why Whooping Cough Is Rising Despite a New Vaccine

When a new whooping cough vaccine was introduced in the late 1990s, there were hopes for a lower infection rate. But there's been a puzzling trend: a spike in new cases. More than 48,000 Americans had whooping cough in 2012 -- a 50-year high. The disease, also known as pertussis, brings on fits of coughing that can last for weeks in adults and older kids. For babies, especially very young ones, the symptoms can be life-threatening. What's behind the increase in whooping cough? Experts aren't sure,...

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Other tests that may be done include:

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 15, 2013
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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