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Children's Vaccines Health Center

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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

Surviving Meningitis: Carl Buher’s Story

On an autumn day in 2003, Carl Buher came down with a high fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, and exhaustion. His parents, Curt and Lori Buher, thought he had flu, like his football buddies. But when Carl became disoriented and developed purple splotches all over his face and arms, they rushed him to the doctor. The Mt. Vernon, Wash., 14-year-old had contracted meningococcal disease, also known as bacterial meningitis, a rare but potentially deadly infection that can kill a healthy young person...

Read the Surviving Meningitis: Carl Buher’s Story article > >

Other tests that may be done include:

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    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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