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What are the symptoms of meningitis?

In adults, the symptoms of meningitis may include: sudden fever; severe headaches; stiff neck; an altered mental state; confusion or trouble concentrating; unintelligible speech; chills; head and neck arching backwards; joint pain and muscle pain; vomiting or nausea; sleepiness or difficulty waking up; skin rash (reddish-purple spots the size of pinpricks, or larger bruise-like spots); sensitivity to light; seizures; rapid breathing, and; lack of appetite. In infants the symptoms of meningitis might appear slightly different. They include: high fever; sleepiness; irritability, constant crying, moaning or grunting; inactivity; lack of appetite, no interest in feeding; vomiting and nausea; stiffness in the body and neck, and; a swelling in the soft spot on top of baby's head (fontanelle).

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About this article

Author: Dr Idan Ben-Barak PhD, MSc, BSc (Med)
First answered: 10 Nov 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.4 out of 5
Votes: 212 (Click smiley face below left to rate)
Category: Meningitis


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