Skip to content

    Children's Vaccines Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    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,...

    Read the Why Whooping Cough Is Rising Despite a New Vaccine 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.
    1
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    Baby getting vaccinated
    Is there a link? Get the facts.
    syringes and graph illustration
    Get a customized vaccine schedule.
     
    baby getting a vaccine
    Know the benefits and the risk
    nurse holding syringe in front of girl
    Should your child have it?
     

    What To Know About The HPV Vaccine
    Article
    24 Kid Illnesses Parents Should Know
    Slideshow
     
    Nausea and Vomiting Remedies Slideshow
    Article
    Managing Immunization Schedules For Kids
    Video
     

    Doctor administering vaccine to toddler
    Video
    gloved hand holding syringe
    Article
     
    infant receiving injection
    Tool
    pills
    Quiz
     

    WebMD Special Sections