What is meningitis?

An inflammation or swelling on the delicate meninges (three protective membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord), meningitis is typically caused by a viral, bacterial or fungal infection of the surrounding cerebrospinal fluid. Meningitis can also occur due to injury, fungi, chemical irritation, cancer or drugs and medication allergies.

Inflammation of the meninges results in typical symptoms of headache, fever and a stiff neck. Treatment for meningitis is dependent on the cause and will differ accordingly.

Meningitis can be a life-threatening condition, requiring urgent antibiotic treatment to prevent potentially severe complications.

If you suspect meningitis, it is best to see a medical professional as quickly as possible. The sooner this condition is treated, the less the risk for further complications. An infection can escalate quickly if not sufficiently identified and adequately treated.

Normal versus meningitis infection

NEXT Causes and types of meningitis

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