Meningitis is an infection of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. This covering is called the meninges.
Meningitis - bacterial; Meningitis - viral; Meningitis - fungal; Meningitis - vaccine
The most common causes of meningitis are viral infections. These infections usually get better without treatment. But, bacterial meningitis infections are very serious. They may result in death or brain damage, even if treated.
Meningitis may also be caused by:
Many types of viruses can cause meningitis:
Enteroviral meningitis occurs more often than bacterial meningitis and is milder. It usually occurs in the late summer and early fall. It most often affects children and adults under age 30. Symptoms may include:
Bacterial meningitis is an emergency. You will need immediate treatment in a hospital. Symptoms usually come on quickly, and may include:
Other symptoms that can occur with this disease:
You cannot tell if you have bacterial or viral meningitis by how you feel. Your health care provider must find out the cause. Go to the hospital emergency department right away if you think you have symptoms of meningitis.
Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial meningitis. Antibiotics do not treat viral meningitis. But antiviral medicine may be given to those with herpes meningitis.
Other treatments will include:
Diederik Van De Beek is in Netherlands. Van De Beek is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Meningitis. They are also highly rated in 22 other conditions, according to our data. Their top areas of expertise are Bacterial Meningitis, Meningitis, Brain Abscess, and Pneumococcal Meningitis.
David Boulware is an Infectious Disease doctor in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Dr. Boulware has been practicing medicine for over 22 years and is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Meningitis. He is also highly rated in 9 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Cryptococcal Meningitis, Cryptococcosis, Meningitis, and Tuberculous Meningitis. He is licensed to treat patients in Minnesota. Dr. Boulware is currently accepting new patients.
David Meya is in Kampala, Uganda. Meya is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Meningitis. He is also highly rated in 6 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Cryptococcosis, Meningitis, Cryptococcal Meningitis, and Tuberculous Meningitis.
Early diagnosis and treatment of bacterial meningitis is essential to prevent permanent neurological damage. Viral meningitis is usually not serious, and symptoms should disappear within 2 weeks with no lasting complications.
Without prompt treatment, meningitis may result in the following:
If you think that you or your child has symptoms of meningitis, get emergency medical help immediately. Early treatment is key to a good outcome.
Certain vaccines can help prevent some types of bacterial meningitis:
Household members and others in close contact with people who have meningococcal meningitis should receive antibiotics to prevent becoming infected.
Hasbun R, Van de Beek D, Brouwer MC, Tunkel AR. Acute meningitis. In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 87.
Nath A. Meningitis: bacterial, viral, and other. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 384.