How to Identify Signs of Meningitis


Meningitis is a serious condition. The onset of symptoms can be rapid, and the illness can be life threatening if untreated. This guide will explain how to identify the signs of meningitis.

Things You'll Need

  • Alertness
  • Observational skills
  • Judgment
  • Physician (to describe the symptoms to)

How To Identify The Signs Of Meningitis

Be alert. The symptoms of meningitis whether bacterial or viral develop quickly. And can often be confused with flu symptoms. You will need to be alert to all the symptoms being displayed in order to know how and when to respond to this potentially life threatening illness.

Watch for fever, headache and neck stiffness. These are the trademark symptoms of meningitis. Anyone displaying a sudden onset of a combination of these symptoms should be taken to a physician immediately.

Be especially alert as to whether or not the above symptoms are accompanied by nausea and vomiting, disorientation, drowsiness, sensitivity to light or muscle pain. If so, seek immediate medical attention.

Be cognizant of lesser known symptoms of meningitis such as abnormal skin color, stomach cramps, cold hand and feet, dizziness or seizures. If a person is displaying any combination of these, see a physician immediately.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you or your child are experiencing two or more of the above symptoms at the same time, especially if they appear suddenly, contact your physician immediately.
  • If your physician is not available, do not wait to speak with them; go to an emergency room right away.
  • Never let a person displaying the symptoms of meningitis operate a motor vehicle. If transportation is not available dial 911 and request emergency transport.

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