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Symptoms of Meningitis

Symptoms of Meningitis: Introduction

The symptoms of meningitis, especially chronic meningitis can resemble symptoms of other diseases, such as influenza. These symptoms can include fever, headache, stiff neck, irritability, and nausea and vomiting.

In acute meningitis and acute bacterial meningitis, symptoms develop rapidly and dramatically, within minutes to hours. Fever can be very high and the headache and stiff neck can be intense. There may also be sensitivity to light, and a purple or red rash may appear.

Symptoms can progress rapidly and become life threatening, especially in cases of acute bacterial meningitis. The resulting symptoms include confusion, lethargy, seizures, loss of consciousness, coma. Death may occur within days.

In infants, signs of acute bacterial meningitis can include excessive crying, excessive sleepiness, difficulty with feeding, and a bulging of the soft spot on the top of the head.

Serious complications of acute bacterial meningitis include kidney failure and permanent neurological damage, such as blindness, hearing loss, brain damage, and paralysis.

Symptoms of chronic meningitis and viral meningitis resemble the symptoms of acute bacterial meningitis. However, symptoms of chronic meningitis develop more slowly, over a period of weeks, and the fever may not be as high. Symptoms of viral meningitis are often similar but not as severe as symptoms of acute bacterial meningitis....more about Meningitis »

Symptoms of Meningitis

The list of signs and symptoms mentioned in various sources for Meningitis includes the 49 symptoms listed below:

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Meningitis: Symptom Checkers

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Meningitis: Symptom Assessment Questionnaires

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Meningitis: Complications

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Diagnostic Testing

Diagnostic testing of medical conditions related to Meningitis:

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Do I have Meningitis?

Meningitis: Undiagnosed Conditions

Diseases that may be commonly undiagnosed in related medical areas:

Home Diagnostic Testing

Home medical tests related to Meningitis:

Wrongly Diagnosed with Meningitis?

The list of other diseases or medical conditions that may be on the differential diagnosis list of alternative diagnoses for Meningitis includes:

Meningitis: Research Doctors & Specialists

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More information about symptoms of Meningitis and related conditions:

Other Possible Causes of these Symptoms

Click on any of the symptoms below to see a full list of other causes including diseases, medical conditions, toxins, drug interactions, or drug side effect causes of that symptom.

Article Excerpts About Symptoms of Meningitis:

NINDS Encephalitis and Meningitis Information Page: NINDS (Excerpt)

Symptoms, which may appear suddenly, often include high fever, severe and persistent headache, stiff neck, nausea, and vomiting. Changes in behavior such as confusion, sleepiness, and difficulty waking up are extremely important symptoms and may require emergency treatment. In infants symptoms of meningitis may include irritability or tiredness, poor feeding and fever. (Source: excerpt from NINDS Encephalitis and Meningitis Information Page: NINDS)

Meningococcal Disease (General): DBMD (Excerpt)

High fever, headache, and stiff neck are common symptoms of meningitis in anyone over the age of 2 years. These symptoms can develop over several hours, or they may take 1 to 2 days. Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, discomfort looking into bright lights, confusion, and sleepiness. In newborns and small infants, the classic symptoms of fever, headache, and neck stiffness may be absent or difficult to detect, and the infant may only appear slow or inactive, or be irritable, have vomiting, or be feeding poorly. As the disease progresses, patients of any age may have seizures. (Source: excerpt from Meningococcal Disease (General): DBMD)

Viral (Aseptic) Meningitis: DVRD (Excerpt)

The symptoms of meningitis may not be the same for every person.  The more common symptoms are fever, severe headache, stiff neck, bright lights hurt the eyes, drowsiness or confusion, and nausea and vomiting. In babies, the symptoms are more difficult to identify.  They may include fever, fretfulness or irritability, difficulty in awakening the baby, or the baby refuses to eat. (Source: excerpt from Viral (Aseptic) Meningitis: DVRD)

Headache -- Hope Through Research: NINDS (Excerpt)

Meningitis and encphalitis headaches are caused by infections of meninges-the brain's outer covering-and in encephalitis, inflammation of the brain itself. (Source: excerpt from Headache -- Hope Through Research: NINDS)

Meningitis as a Cause of Symptoms or Medical Conditions

When considering symptoms of Meningitis, it is also important to consider Meningitis as a possible cause of other medical conditions. The Disease Database lists the following medical conditions that Meningitis may cause:

- (Source - Diseases Database)

Meningitis as a symptom:

For a more detailed analysis of Meningitis as a symptom, including causes, drug side effect causes, and drug interaction causes, please see our Symptom Center information for Meningitis.

Meningitis: Onset and Incubation

Incubation period for Meningitis: symptoms can develop over several hours, or they may take 1 to 2 days. (Source: excerpt from Meningococcal Disease (General): DBMD)

Medical articles and books on symptoms:

These general reference articles may be of interest in relation to medical signs and symptoms of disease in general:

About signs and symptoms of Meningitis:

The symptom information on this page attempts to provide a list of some possible signs and symptoms of Meningitis. This signs and symptoms information for Meningitis has been gathered from various sources, may not be fully accurate, and may not be the full list of Meningitis signs or Meningitis symptoms. Furthermore, signs and symptoms of Meningitis may vary on an individual basis for each patient. Only your doctor can provide adequate diagnosis of any signs or symptoms and whether they are indeed Meningitis symptoms.


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