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Children's Vaccines Health Center

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Meningitis - Treatment Overview

Most people with viral meningitis usually start getting better within 3 days of feeling sick, and they recover within 2 weeks. With mild cases of viral meningitis, you may only need home treatment, including drinking extra fluids and taking medicine for pain and fever.

Bacterial or severe viral meningitis may require treatment in a hospital, including:

Recommended Related to Children's Vaccines

Meningitis: 12 Frequently Asked Questions

Meningitis can be a very serious disease. If you or someone you love is at increased risk for meningitis, you may have lots of questions. Here are answers to some of the most common questions about meningitis.   1. What is meningitis? Meningitis occurs when the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, called the meninges, become inflamed. It is usually caused by an infection. This disease can be fatal or cause serious lasting side effects.  2. What are the causes of meningitis? ...

Read the Meningitis: 12 Frequently Asked Questions article > >

  • Medicines such as antibiotics, corticosteroids, and medicines to reduce fever.
  • Oxygen therapy, if you have trouble breathing. To learn more, see Other Treatment.
  • Supportive care. In the hospital, doctors watch the person closely and provide care if needed. For example, you may need to drink extra liquids or get fluids in a vein (IV). To learn more, see Other Treatment.

Follow-up care

Most healthy adults who have recovered from meningitis don't need follow-up care.

But adults who have other medical problems that make them more likely to have long-term complications or get meningitis again should see their doctors after recovery.

Babies and children always need follow-up care after recovery. They need to be checked for long-term complications such as hearing loss.

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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