Symptoms of bacterial
meningitis usually appear suddenly. Symptoms of viral
meningitis may appear suddenly or develop gradually over a period of days. For
example, the symptoms of viral meningitis after mumps may take several days or
weeks to develop.
The most common symptoms of either form of
- Severe and persistent
- Stiff and painful neck, especially when trying to touch
the chin to the chest.
- Confusion and
decreased level of consciousness.
Other symptoms of meningitis include:
- Sluggishness, muscle aches and weakness, and
strange feelings (such as tingling) or weakness throughout the
- Eye sensitivity and eye pain from bright
- Skin rash.
- Dizzy spells.
The incubation period-the time from exposure to the
infection to when the first symptoms develop-depends on the type of organism
causing the infection.
Babies, young children, older adults, and
people with other medical conditions may not have the usual symptoms of
- In babies, the signs of meningitis may be a
fever, irritability that is difficult to calm, decreased appetite, rash,
vomiting, and a shrill cry. Babies also may have a stiff body and bulging soft
spots on their heads that are not caused by crying. Babies with meningitis may
cry when handled.
- Young children with meningitis may act like they
flu (influenza), cough, or have trouble
- Older adults and people with other medical conditions
may have only a slight headache and fever. They may not feel well and may have
- Other conditions with similar symptoms
to meningitis include
viral hepatitis and flu.
This answer should not be considered medical advice...This answer should not be considered medical advice and should not take the place of a doctor’s visit. Please see the bottom of the page for more information or visit our Terms and Conditions.
Thanks for your feedback.
112 of 119 found this helpful
Read the Original Article: Meningitis Symptoms WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
© 1995-2011 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.