What are common symptoms of spinal meningitis, and how fast can it kill you?

Meningitis. Generally meningitis presents with fever, sensitivity to light and sound, headache, stiff neck, nausea and vomiting, changes in mentation and possibly localizing neurological abnormalities, and alterations in sensorium. Depending on the patient's age, underlying illness and the specific organism death can occur within hours of onset, and in the case of chronic disease may be weeks or longer.