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What is Meningitis?

Meningitis is a disease caused by an inflammation of the meninges, the membranes that surround the brain. The inflammation is usually caused by infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

What are the Symptoms of Meningitis?

Symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stiff neck
  • Photophobia (low tolerance to bright light)
  • Confusion
  • Joint aches or pains
  • Drowsiness
  • Seizures

How is Meningitis Treated?

There are several different types of meningitis and treatments for each type differ.

  • Bacterial meningitis. Treatment for bacterial meningitis usually involves intravenous (IV) antibiotics. The earlier the treatment is initiated, the better the outcome.
  • Viral meningitis. Treatment for viral meningitis is usually supportive (aimed at relieving symptoms). With the exception of the herpes simplex virus, there are no specific medications to treat the organisms that cause viral meningitis.
  • Fungal meningitis. An intravenous antifungal medication may be administered to treat fungal meningitis.
  • Tuberculous (TB) meningitis. A long course (1 year) of medications is recommended for people who develop TB meningitis. The therapy usually involves treatment with several different medications for the first few months, followed by other medications.