18 Common Signs and Symptoms Of Meningitis


Meningitis is the inflammation or swelling of the meninges (singular: meninx), three membranes that cover and protect the brain and spinal cord.  Such inflammation is most often the result of bacterial or viral infection of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord.  However, there are other causes of meningitis like cancer, systemic lupus erythematosus (aka lupus), brain surgery, head injuries, certain medications or drugs, fungi, parasites, or ameba.

Meningitis caused by bacteria, or bacterial meningitis, can be deadly.  This condition requires immediate medical attention.  Fortunately, there are vaccines available to help protect against some, but not all, kinds of bacterial meningitis.

Meningitis caused by viruses, or viral meningitis, is very serious, but often less severe than bacterial meningitis.  A person’s normal immune system is sometimes enough to combat the virus, so some persons who get viral meningitis actually heal on their own.  Just as in bacterial meningitis, there are different vaccines available to prevent some, still not all, kinds of viral meningitis.

As daunting as a brain-related inflammation may sound, meningitis is not always a death sentence.  As mentioned previously, some cases of meningitis actually resolve after a few weeks, even without treatment.  However, some cases are indeed life-threatening, and require emergency antibiotic treatment.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there are around 1.2 Million cases of meningitis occurring around the globe every year.  The causes and fatality rates of the condition differ between regions and age groups.

How does one know that one has meningitis?  There are some signs and symptoms that could indicate that one has meningitis.  These signs and symptoms could occur singularly (on its own), or in combination.