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Spinal Meningitis – Warning Signs and Symptoms

The swelling and soreness of the membranes near the brain and the spinal cord is known as spinal meningitis. There can be several reasons for this swelling such as viral, bacterial, fungal or parasitic infections. However, viral infections are the most common cause.

In some cases, the condition improves on its own and heals entirely within a couple of weeks. However, sometimes meningitis can be life-threating, and it requires proper antibiotic treatment.

Bacterial meningitis is the most deadly form of the disease. It generally starts when bacteria which causes a flu-like infection enters the body. Meningococcal infections and pneumococcal infections are the most common causes of bacterial meningitis. These infections can lead to stroke, brain damage or hearing loss.

Warning signs and symptoms of spinal meningitis
This disease’s symptoms generally occur within a week after the exposure. Not everyone experiences the same symptoms.

Here are some of the most common symptoms of spinal meningitis. People above the age of 2 years experience these symptoms.

  • Sudden high fever
  • Stiffness in the neck
  • Sudden onset of severe headaches
  • Feeling of nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty in focusing and confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Difficulty in walking
  • Seizures
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Skin rashes caused due to bacterial meningitis

Symptoms of spinal meningitis in newborns
The following symptoms are most common in infants:

  • High fever
  • Irritability and crankiness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • A bulge on the top of baby’s head
  • Stiffness in the baby’s body or neck

Other potential signs and symptoms
These are some additional signs and symptoms which are mostly seen in patients who have bacterial meningitis:

  • Abnormal skin color
  • Stomach cramps
  • Skin rash
  • Rapid breathing
  • Joint pain or muscle ache
  • Chills
  • Extremely cold hands and feet

When to see a doctor
Fever, severe headache, and stiffness in the neck are the three most common symptoms of spinal meningitis. If you experience these symptoms, you must consult a doctor immediately. Bacterial meningitis is a serious condition that proves to be fatal in numerous cases. Any delay in treatment can lead to permanent brain damage or in the worst case, death. Also, if someone in your family has the disease, it is better to talk to your doctor and take preventive medications to avoid catching the infection.

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