An inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain or the spinal cord, either viral or bacterial.
- Severe headache
- Sensitivity to bright light or loud noises
- Rigid muscles, especially of the neck
- Bacterial meningitis may develop into increasing drowsiness, convulsions or loss of consciousness.
- There may be flat pink or purple spots on the skin that don't fade when you press on them.
- Viral meningitis can be mild, but bacterial meningitis is life threatening.
- Take your child to a doctor or hospital immediately if you suspect meningitis for diagnosis and treatment.
- A course of high-dose antibiotics will be started even before doctors know whether the meningitis is caused by a virus or bacterium.
- Diagnosis is done via a lumbar puncture, where a hollow needle is inserted into the spine to draw spinal fluid from the spinal canal.