Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Risk Factors Symptoms Evaluation Treatment questions for doctor specialist Home Care pain and fever adults pain and fever children warning signs Prevention vaccine Outlook Complications Underlying Cause Anatomy

Meningitis Overview

What is meningitis?
A person with meningitis has inflammation of the dura, a protective lining that envelopes the brain and spinal cord. Meningitis can be caused by infection with bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungi. Viral meningitis is more common than bacterial meningitis. Bacterial meningitis is a serious infection that can result in death if it is not treated early.

What are the symptoms of meningitis?
Common symptoms of meningitis include a headache, neck pain, neck stiffness, and a high fever. Additional symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, confusion, lethargy, and unresponsiveness.

How does the doctor treat meningitis?
The treatment for meningitis depends on the underlying cause. Viral meningitis may be treated with antiviral medication, but in most cases, it resolves without treatment. Bacterial meningitis is a life threatening infection that requires treatment with intravenous antibiotics in the hospital. With prompt treatment, most people recover.

Continue to Meningitis Incidence

Last Updated: Nov 16, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
Copyright DSHI Systems, Inc. Powered by: FreeMD - Your Virtual Doctor

PubMed Meningitis References
  1. Attia J, Hatala R, Cook DJ, Wong JG. The rational clinical examination. Does this adult patient have acute meningitis? JAMA. 1999 Jul 14;282(2):175-81. [10411200]
  2. Pintado V, Cabellos C, Moreno S, Meseguer MA, Ayats J, Viladrich PF. Enterococcal meningitis: a clinical study of 39 cases and review of the literature. Medicine (Baltimore). 2003 Sep;82(5):346-64. [14530784]
  3. Sutlas PN, Unal A, Forta H, Senol S, Kirbas D. Tuberculous meningitis in adults: review of 61 cases. Infection. 2003 Dec;31(6):387-91. [14735380]
  4. van de Beek D, de Gans J, McIntyre P, Prasad K. Steroids in adults with acute bacterial meningitis: a systematic review. Lancet Infect Dis. 2004 Mar;4(3):139-43. [14998499]
  5. van de Beek D, de Gans J, Spanjaard L, Sela S, Vermeulen M, Dankert J. Group a streptococcal meningitis in adults: report of 41 cases and a review of the literature. Clin Infect Dis. 2002 May 1;34(9):e32-6. [11941569]
FreeMD is provided for information purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for evaluation and treatment by a physician. Please review our terms of use.