Doctor insights on:
Can You Have Bacterial Meningitis Without Having A Fever
Highly unlikely: The symptoms of meningitis are fever, stiff neck, head ache, altered mental status and in some cases seizures. Viral meningitis is usually milder than bacterial meningitis. It would be very unusual to have bacterial meningitis without a fever. This would only occur in the very elderly or the severely immunosuppressed. ...Read more
Possibly: I can remember one 8 yo kid that arrived in a coma with low body temperature, low blood pressure & died within hours of Meningococcal meningitis/sepsis. He also showed no increased in white count or other sign of an immune response. That was the exception to the usual presentation with fever, irritability etc for hundreds of cases I treated. Beware the always/never idea for anything. ...Read more
Could I have bacterial meningitis without fever or vomiting, but with neck pain but not stiff and mild headaches?
If a toddler had bacterial meningitis with a high fever when their fever went down with medicine would they feel better or still be really sick?
With bacterial meningitis is a high fever above 103 always present. Being flu season could sore/stiff neck+headache but no real fever just be the flu?
Possibly: It is possible that your symptoms are all related to the flu. With the flu, you can have headaches and body aches. But if your headache is severe and you have a stuff neck it would be good to get checked out. Meningitis is a serious infection, and it's not the kind of thing that you'd want to 'wait it out' with. ...Read more
Is bacterial meningitis the result of the flu gone awry? Why does it start with flu-like symptoms?
Can someone have bacterial meningitis without debilitating synptoms? And not know it, or do u always know u have it because of terrible synptoms?
Bacterial Meningitis: Hi, untreated, undiagnosed bacterial meningitis is generally fatal. The symptoms could be vague in the earliest setting, however the patient becomes rapidly ill and symptomatic. Viral meningitis can also be severe both in symptoms and outcome, yet is much less likely to be fatal, most patients will recover. Anybody with high fever, head and/or neck pains, and any neurological symptoms > er asap. ...Read more
Infection: Don't know what you are looking for- giving a general answer. Usually infection from other parts of body may spread to the meninges (the layers surrounding the brain). Infection in blood, infection in parts of body adjacent to the brain like ear, nose, sinus etc. And also if the is some form if manipulation of the meninges (shunt, brain surgery, lumbar puncture), it increases the risk. ...Read more
Spinal fluid culture: To diagnose bacterial meningitis, typically, a spinal tap is done to remove a small amount of cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds the spinal cord and brain. The fluid is tested for the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, protien, and glucose. Then the fluid is cultured for bacteria which can take up to 3 to 4 days for results. It may also be cultured for viruses and that can take 7 day. ...Read more
Not easily: The organisms causing this usually live in the back of the nose and throat as normal bacterial populations. They get into the blood stream and enter the subarachnoid space (surrounded by the meninges) though a structure called the choroid plexus. It is an uncommon disease these days since advent of vaccines for the meningococcus, pneumococcus and hemophilus influenzae. ...Read more
Headache, stiff neck: Meningitis usually starts with headache and fever, that progresses to a stiff neck and spine. There may be associated sore throat or uri, but this does not have to be present. There may be nausea and vomiting, chills, a seizure. All of these symptoms are common, but as long as it is comfortable to look down or curl your body and hug your knees, meningitis is unlikely. ...Read more
Antibiotics: Antibiotics are available for treatment. The earlier treatment is started, the greater the possibility of cure without long term consequences. However, f treatment is delayed, the likelihood of significant neurologic damage increases. Death may occur if antibiotic treatment is delayed. Some bacteria are so virulent that they may cause death shortly after infection begins. ...Read more
Brain damage: Hearing loss, alterations in a wide range of neurological functions can occur. These are predominantly due to inflammation of the sheath of blood vessels entering the brain through the subarachnoid space (which the meninges surround). With brain swelling, herniation of the brain stem can occur, usually fatally. The type of damage will depend upon which areas of brain are attacked. ...Read more
Some > than others: Some forms are much more worrisome than others. Meningococcal meningitis is quite contagious and close contacts are routinely given antibiotics to interrupt transmission. Pneumococcal meningitis contacts are not, since the germ is relatively common among normal individuals and it has not been found necessary. ...Read more
Hearing loss, mental retardation, seizure, speech and language delay, visual impairment, behavioral problem.
Early recognition, prompt antibiotic rx and supportive care reduces severity of long term complications.
Less than 6 mo age, severe infection, seizure more than 4 days into therapy, coma, tend to have more long-term sequelae. Severe neuro-developmental sequelae in 10-20% and 50% have some. ...Read more
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