Recognizing signs of meningitis: 8 symptoms you should be aware of

meningitis signs

Meningitis is an acute inflammation of the protective membranes which covers the brain and the spinal cord.  It can be caused by both viruses and bacteria, which is why it can be transmitted from person to person. Those with an auto-immune problems or a weak immune system are especially prone to catching the disease.

The symptoms of meningitis resemble those of other illnesses, such as infection or flu.  Therefore, monitoring the illness`s progression is of utmost importance.  Here are some of the symptoms you should be aware of:

1. Sudden Fever

Sudden fever that comes hand in hand with shivering could signify meningitis. In this case, the person`s body temperature is high and difficult to bring down. While fever is part of body`s natural defense mechanisms against diseases, look out for other symptoms of meningitis as well.

2. Stomachaches, nausea, and vomiting

If you suffer from stomachache or other gastrointestinal problem, look for other accompanying symptoms. Have you eaten something bad or is there other reason for these issues?  If they are unexplainable, seeing your doctor is a good idea!

3. Bad headaches and light sensitivity

People suffering from migraines know how debilitating these headaches can be.  Having a debilitating headache and feeling sensitive to light could signify a migraine. But, these symptoms- either alone or combine- could also be a sign of meningitis.

4. Rash

Rashes are typically a sign of atopic dermatitis and allergies.  If you are not sure, you can do a simple test at home to find out whether you need to consult a doctor.

Press a clean glass against the rush until it fades. If it turns pale, there is no need to worry   If it doesn’t, you need to have a doctor take a look at it.

5. Blurred Vision

Meningitis affects various bodily functions, which can lead to a wide range of dysfunctions. For instance, some meningitis sufferers have blurred vision, which makes it difficult for them to focus their eyes on their surroundings.

Note: Even if it isn’t meningitis, vision impairment is always a serious issue and needs to get checked!

6. The Brudziński Neck Sign

Józef Brudziński, a Polish doctor, noticed a phenomenon in children who suffer from meningitis.  If you bend the child`s head forward, both of the legs will bend at the knees and it is not possible to stretch the legs back out.  If this symptom is present, consult a doctor right away.

7. Drowsiness and Disorientation

If you feel drowsy or disoriented, you need to see a doctor as soon as possible.  These symptoms shouldn’t be taken for granted.  If neglected and the person is suffering from meningitis, the risk of slipping into a coma significantly increases.

8. Stiff Neck

If you are not injured, but you experience a stiff neck that makes it difficult for you to move, the chances are you are suffering from meningitis.  In this case, the lack of movement is caused by the meninges being irritated and swollen.

Sources:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/meningitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20350508

https://www.meningitisnow.org/meningitis-explained/signs-and-symptoms/signs-and-symptoms-children-and-adults/