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What are the signs and symptoms of meningitis?

ANSWER

Although symptoms may vary, the more common signs and symptoms of meningitis include:

Later symptoms can include rash, seizure, and coma. Infants with meningitis may be lethargic, irritable, or not feed well.

  • High fever
  • Severe, persistent headaches
  • Neck stiffness
  • Vomiting
  • Discomfort in bright lights
  • Drowsiness
  • Lack of appetite

SOURCES:

Nemours Foundation: "Meningitis."

Meningitis Foundation of America: "Top 20 Questions About Meningitis."

NINDS: "Meningitis and Encephalitis Fact Sheet."

CDC: "Meningococcal Disease."

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on October 5, 2019

SOURCES:

Nemours Foundation: "Meningitis."

Meningitis Foundation of America: "Top 20 Questions About Meningitis."

NINDS: "Meningitis and Encephalitis Fact Sheet."

CDC: "Meningococcal Disease."

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on October 5, 2019

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What should I do if someone I know has symptoms of meningitis?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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