What is Meningitis?

Meningitis is an inflammation in the covering of the brain and spinal cord. There are two types of meningitis – viral and bacterial. Viral meningitis is more common than bacterial meningitis. Viral meningitis will usually go away on its own after a few weeks whereas bacterial meningitis is a more serious condition requiring immediate medical attention. If untreated, bacterial meningitis can lead to permanent neurological damage like hearing loss, blindness, loss of speech, learning disabilities, behavior problems, brain damage and paralysis. Meningitis can be passed from person to person through coughing, sneezing or close contact.

What are the causes?

  • Viral infection
  • Bacterial infection
  • Fungal infection

Treatments for Meningitis:

  • IV antibiotics
  • Treatments for brain swelling, shock, convulsions or dehydration
  • Drain fluid that has built up around the brain

What can I do?

  • Encourage hand washing
  • Make sure your child gets all of the standard childhood immunizations
  • Ask your doctor about meningitis immunizations


It is important to remember the health information found on this Web site is for reference only not intended to replace the advice and guidance of your health care provider. Always seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a true medical emergency, call 911 immediately.


  • Stiff and painful neck - especially when you try to touch your chin to your chest
  • Fever
  • Severe Headache
  • Vomiting or Nausea
  • Trouble staying awake
  • Seizures
  • Flu-like symptoms – coughing or trouble breathing
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Confusion or difficulty concentrating


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