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Children's Vaccines Health Center

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Meningitis - When To Call a Doctor

Call911or other emergency services right away if:

  • You or your child has symptoms of severe meningitis, such as fever, seizures, and confusion.
  • Your baby has signs of severe meningitis, such as trouble breathing or fever with a bulging soft spot on the head not caused by crying.

Call your doctor right away if:

Recommended Related to Children's Vaccines

Chickenpox (Varicella) Vaccine

Pick any adult out of a crowd. The odds that he or she has had chickenpox are pretty good. But those odds are changing now that we have the chickenpox vaccine.

Read the Chickenpox (Varicella) Vaccine article > >

Call a doctor soon if you think you may have been exposed to meningitis. You can be treated with antibiotics, which may keep you from getting the illness.

Watchful waiting

Watchful waiting is a period of time during which you and your doctor observe your symptoms or condition without using medical treatment.

Watchful waiting isn't appropriate if you think that you or your child has meningitis, because you can't tell what type of meningitis it may be. Call your doctor as soon as symptoms appear.

Who to see

The following health professionals can diagnose and treat meningitis:

Specialists may be needed to treat meningitis, especially if complications develop:

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

    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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